I love titles. Just titles? Yes, just titles! They are so often inviting and stimulating. Note the following: “Feast of LIFE” or “The EUCHARIST as a RITUAL to SUSTAIN our HEALTH” or “I COME with JOY” or “Our One Great Act of FIDELITY: Waiting for Christ in the Eucharist”. Each of these refers to the feast we celebrated last Sunday - the Feast of Corpus Christi, or in the vernacular, the Feast of the Body and Blood of Christ. The titles can stimulate our devotion as we prepare to receive what we need, while we wait in joy, the coming of Christ.
I remember that, as a child, all first communicants in our parish would yearly carry baskets of flowers to lay before the approaching CHRIST-in-the-monstrance, carried in festive procession from the church to each of the three erected altars around the cemetery or church where we would then be blessed anew and our faith enlivened in this Mystery of Eucharist! Mystery… it continues to be so, and we continue, each time we celebrate the Sunday liturgy, to reenact those words of Jesus to “do this until I come again.”
Ronald Rolheiser is the author of the book, Our One Great Act of Fidelity: Waiting for Christ in the Eucharist. He compares some of the dynamics of an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting to elucidate some of the reasons why we continue to go to the Eucharist weekly (or daily). He quotes his friend: “It’s funny, the meetings are always the same, the exact same things get said over and over again. Everything is totally predictable; everyone, except those who are there for the first time, knows already what will be said. And we’re not there to show our best sides to each other. I don’t go to an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting to share my talents or to be a nice guy. No, I go because if I don’t, I know, and know for sure, that I will start drinking again and eventually destroy myself. It’s that simple. I go there to stay alive!”
And that is one reason why we go to the Eucharist regularly: to stay alive and to do it together! “Give us this day, our daily bread” we pray more often than we can count! In our own homes, we share bread, are nourished around our tables so that, in turn, we can go out and feed other hungry multitudes. Elsa Tamez is the author of the poem, “Feast of Life”. She brings the mystery of the Eucharist right into our own kitchens and then, out into the streets where we help “bring about the Kingdom” of peoples waiting for the final coming of Christ:
Let us celebrate the supper of the Lord.
Let us make a huge loaf of bread
and let us bring abundant wine like at the
wedding of Cana.
Let the women not forget the salt.
Let the men bring along the yeast.
Let many guests come,
the lame, the blind, the crippled, the poor.
Let us follow the recipe of the Lord.
All of us, let us knead the dough together
with our hands.
Let us see with joy how the bread grows.
the meeting with the Lord.
Today we renew our commitment
to the kingdom.
Nobody will stay hungry.”
Renee Domeier, OSB