Bread of Life, Cup of Salavation

“The culmination of the Mass is not the consecration, but communion.” (Saint Maximillian Kolbe, 1894-1941)

“It’s time to eat!!”  For many of us, these are almost magical words.  Children playing outside with friends — or caught up in a video game — might say, “I’m not hungry,” in order to keep doing what they are doing.  But, for most of us, those words are a clear invitation to stop doing what we are doing and to head for the kitchen — or for the table.

This weekend we are called to Jesus’ table by Jesus — to eat the bread of life, and to drink from the cup of salvation.  We are called to partake of the banquet of ALL BANQUETS — to eat the only meal that really satisfies.

As Catholics, we celebrate our belief that Jesus literally gives us himself as our daily bread — he gives us himself as food for the journey.

[1] QUESTION NUMBER 1:

What did we come here to see, to get?

When we go to a ballgame, we are hoping to be entertained and to have fun — but even more, we go hoping that our team will win!  When we go to a restaurant, we are hoping to have a good meal and a delightful time — all for a reasonable price.

So again, I ask, “why have we come here — what are hoping to get?”

    Have we come prepared, ready, hoping to receive Jesus as he comes to us in WORD and in SACRAMENT?  Are we focused on encountering the living Jesus in the form of bread and wine?

Have you thought of this as a time when heaven and earth touch?

Have you come for a “me and Jesus” time or is this a “me, Jesus, and community” time?  Is this a time of coming-into-union … Maximillian Kolbe’s “communion”.

 

[2] QUESTION NUMBER 2:

       Are we ready to show appreciation and gratitude for the work, the sacrifice that has gone into this meal?  Too often I heard my mother say, I worked all morning — or all day — to prepare this meal, and in an hour ya’ll have eaten the meal and moved on!  And, how true that is!  Some meals require planning and shopping before preparation ever begins.  Then comes hours of preparation — getting the meal ready and sometimes setting the table.  Truly, many, many meals are a labor of love — and how often we fail to realize the labor, the love, the prepartion that went into the meal.

The Eucharist we celebrate, the sacrament we receive has also taken great effort and sacrifice.  The preparation began with the promise to send a Savior?  The promise was renewed with the blood-covenant of Moses (Ex. 24:3-8).  The preparation continued through the entire life and ministry of Jesus.  Preparation culminated with his promise to be with us always and his death on the cross.

More than any earthly meal, God our Father has prepared a banquet-sharing whereby we can experience the presence of our living God — do we see, understand, and show appreciation for all the work for what we experience when we come to the table?

If we but paused for a moment to consider attentively what takes place in this Sacrament, I am sure that the thought of Christ’s love for us would transform the coldness of our hearts into a fire of love and gratitude.  Saint Angela of Foligno (1248-1309)

[3]  Question three:  Are we energized for the work ahead?

Receive Communion often, very often . . . there you have the sole remedy, if you want to be cured.  Jesus has not put this attraction in your heart for nothing. Saint Therese of Lisieux (1873-1897)

Our celebration today is not a moment of nostalgia when we remember the present.  This is a time to do something in memory of Jesus.  We are being fed, comforted, strengthened, enlightened, encouraged –and with this gift comes consequences and responsibilities — to become the body of Christ for those around us.  With his death, Jesus became the ultimate servant.  In receiving his living body and blood — we do remember and in the re-membering, we are sent forth to share with others.

When we make a “dinner date” or make plans to join together with friends for a meal, either at home or at a favorite restaurant, we look forward to that time.  The anticipation of the time together and the meal shared is part of the total event.

My prayer:  Lord, may I be as eager to share in your meal as I am to share a meal with family and friends.

[I will be traveling for the next three weeks — so no posts during that time.]

hjm

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