This year we worked our way through the Liturgy of the Eucharist... Eucharist – that strange Greek word that means “giving thanks to God”. The word itself describes what the early Church was doing… they gathered together, they broke the bread, and gave God thanks and praise – eukharistia!
That’s the first aspect of Eucharist that we explored – the Eucharist as a Meal. We gather – not only as a diverse group of believers, but as a family. We come to the table (which is no ordinary table) to share a meal (which is no ordinary bread and wine). This meal, born out of the Passover, is the New Covenant - a personal relationship with God and each other… a common-union with the God who feeds us; nourished to love and serve.
We talked about the Eucharist as a Sacrifice. We gather around the altar as witnesses of Jesus’ infinite love for us. We recall His suffering and death and recognize that His perfect Sacrifice and His Resurrection was not just an ancient historical event but an eternal atonement for all time – including this moment. His life offered to be shared.
And we have talked about the Eucharist as the True Presence of Christ. We know that Jesus is present here in many ways… In the wisdom of His Word, in the lives of those sitting next to you, in the Sacraments shared by His Church. But the Eucharist is Jesus... Just as he promised in the scriptures and just as his Church – Our Church, the Catholic Church has always proclaimed.