Bulletin for the week of June 10th, 2007.
ARE YOU NEW TO OUR PARISH? WELCOME!
NEXT BAPTISMS FOR OUR LADY OF VICTORY — ST. MALACHY — SUNDAY, JULY 29TH
ANOTHER "GEM" IN THE BISHOP’S REFLECTIONS ON THE EUCHARIST AT LAST WEEK’S LAUNCH IN PREPARATION FOR THE EUCHARISTIC CONGRESS
The Bishop also drew attention to a crucial element in the second part of the Mass. It has to do with the way we handle the notion of the Body of Christ. We have a tendency to apply that notion of the Body of Christ narrowly to the consecrated bread. Yes, of course, the consecrated bread is the Body of Christ, but we do the mystery of the Eucharist a great disservice when we sort of stall there.
We who have come together in Jesus’ name are the Body of Christ too! We celebrate the Eucharist in order to be nourished by the self-giving of Jesus contained in the bread we share so that we may become more what we are. In that context, the Bishop referred to a favourite text of St. Augustine: “If you are the Body of Christ and His members, your mystery has been placed on the Lord’s table, you receive your mystery. You reply ‘Amen’ to that which you are, and by replying you consent. For you hear ‘the Body of Christ’, and you reply ‘Amen’. Be a member of Christ so that your ‘Amen’ may be true.” In other words, there is a lot in that simple exchange between the communion minister and ourselves: “the Body of Christ” to which we reply “Amen
That same St. Augustine had another way of illustrating that aspect of the celebration of the Eucharist. It goes something like this: the food we normally eat becomes sort of part of us through the digestive processes. But when it comes to the Eucharist where we are nourished with the Body of Christ the opposite occurs: We become what we eat, the Body of Christ. That is powerful, but also serious stuff!
AT COMMUNION TIME, WHY NOT TO GET HOSTS FROM THE TABERNACLE? WHAT IS THE PROBLEM?
Why is it not proper? The Mass, especially the second part of the Mass (what we do around the altar) has an integrity of its own that needs to be respected. The best way to respect that integrity is to start with taking the Eucharistic Prayer very seriously. And there may be the problem. For centuries we have neglected or sort of ignored the Eucharistic Prayer; it is the prayer that starts with “the Lord be with you”... “Lift up your hearts” and concludes with “the Great Amen.”
If anything, we need to rediscover the importance of that prayer. It is not ‘just the priest’s prayer’. It is the church’s prayer; it is our prayer which the priest proclaims in our name. We say our Amen to it at the end. What do we say Amen to? To the praise and thanksgiving that is proclaimed to God for what God has done for us above all in Jesus Christ, in him giving himself for our salvation. This central mystery of faith, Christ’s dying and rising, is made present among us in the power of God’s Spirit so that we may enter it and find our home in it. That is what we consent to by means of “the Great Amen” at the end of the Eucharistic Prayer.
The Communion Rite which then follows is really a ritual elaboration of that “Great Amen “. It is our way of entering into the sacrifice of Christ so that as Christ’s Body we may give glory to God and contribute to the salvation of the world. In other words, it is because of the inner link between what we are about in the Eucharistic Prayer and what we do in the Communion Rite that it is only normal that we receive communion by means of the bread and wine consecrated at this particular Mass. We must not allow bad practices to obscure that inner link.
Some may argue we don’t need all that complicated theological talk. It is not really that complicated if we respect and follow the basic flow of the ritual itself. It has a lot of good stuff to teach us. We need a fair amount of theological gymnastics when we try to justify a bad practice such as bringing hosts to the altar from the tabernacle before Communion begins.
CEREAL BAR DRIVE
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