Many of Jesus’s disciples who were listening said, “This saying is hard; who can accept it?” Since Jesus knew that his disciples were murmuring about this, he said to them, “Does this shock you? What if you were to see … Continue reading
One major way we can preach the Eucharist is by inviting others to the Holy sacrifice of the Mass, letting them see what we do in worship. “Jesus said, `Come and see.’ They went and saw the place where Jesus was staying.” – John1:39. Does our worship reflect our belief in the true presence of Christ in the Eucharist? Does the church building and music lift our minds to God and to prayer? Do our gestures, words and actions point to Him? Are our prayers focused on His awe, majesty and eternal love? Attitudes towards the Mass where people are closed in on themselves and an impression of entertainment is given or where private agendas take central place, deprive the faithful. Any valid Mass that gives honor and glory to God, fills the faithful.
Sadly in this day and age, we are experiencing a climate where our Most Holy Sacrifice of the Mass is sometimes abused and misused in ways that can grossly point away from the real presence of Christ. People no longer believe in Jesus’s sacrifice in the Mass, they become confused as to why, what seems to be just a social gathering, is obligatory and central to their faith. They do not perceive the wondrous sacrifice unfolding before their eyes. Stripped of enriching symbols, the reality is hidden away from them. When Masses are celebrated without a sense God is truly there, people ultimately walk away. They walk away from the visible Church, from the Eucharist, from the Source of all life.
Unless something is done, something that is positive and respectful of our Church’s traditions while properly following the guidelines of Vatican II, division and spiritual famine will continue. We have a vast treasury of traditions, teachings, sacred music and symbols to make the liturgy responsive to the hungers of the world. When we put them to full use, the Eucharistic Lord will be boldly preached.
It is ingrained in who we are as Christians, and heralds of the Gospel, to preach the Eucharist at all times, in our daily actions, works, prayers and sacrifices, in our attitudes and beliefs. We call the entire world, the whole brokenness of humanity to a Divine Banquet, a marriage with the Lamb of God. Christ has already called us His betrothed. What more is there to do than summon the entire world into His presence? What other nation is so great as to have their gods near them the way the LORD our God is near us whenever we pray to him? – Deuteronomy 4:7. In the Mass we are entering the celebration of heaven, with a multitude of angels and saints. We cry out with all creation, saying “Amen. Come Lord Jesus!” – Revelation 22:20
The world is starved for light, for truth and hope. Bathed in darkness, humanity cries out for a Savior. The answer to their sorrows waits in the tabernacle of every Catholic Church. How often is this fact overlooked! How often we ignore Our Lord in the tabernacle, on the altar? The Body of Christ, sent to heal this world, the Church offers the remedy and partakes of it’s curative bounty. What poor charity it would be not to tell others of this healing. As the hand of Christ, we reach out to our sick neighbors. As the lips of Christ, we tell them where to find the medicine for their souls. To the starving man, we say “I know where you can find bread. Follow me.”
Once we’ve encountered our Messianic Bridegroom in the Sacrifice of the Mass, duty, but most of all charity, urges us to announce this aloud to the world. The ringing of the bells before Mass is a great symbol of this summons. Everyone nearby can hear the loud, joyful ringing and it immediately provokes curiosity in the unbeliever. Stopping, he asks himself: “What wonderful thing is happening there that they must make so much noise about it?” Like the King’s servants in the parable of the wedding feast, we are sent into the streets, ringing out good news, inviting guests to the wedding. We invite whomever we may find, knowing the Eucharistic Lord desires to abide with all persons.