What an incredible gift we are given in the Eucharist! The word ‘Eucharist’ has its origin in the Greek word eucharistia, meaning to give thanks, or to be grateful. In the Jewish tradition, the berakhah is an expression of praise and gratitude directed to God. It is recited at specific points of the synagogue liturgy to acknowledge God as the source of all blessings. Moreover, according to Jewish practice, a person should recite 100 berakhah prayers each day! Sounds hard to do, however, when we take the time to look outside of our own little worlds, we can see how incredibly blessed we are compared to millions of people for whom life is a daily struggle just to survive. From this perspective, it is easy to find 100 things we can be grateful for.
With grateful hearts Sunday after Sunday each of us bring different kinds of gifts to the Mass. “What do Christians bring to the Eucharistic celebration and join there with Jesus’ offering?” The answer…“Their lives as Christian Disciples; their personal vocations and the stewardship they have exercised regarding them; their individual contributions to the great work of restoring all things in Christ” (1992 USCCB Pastoral Letter – Stewardship, A Disciple’s Response).
And then, we are sent! Sent out in to the world to be good stewards of what we have just received.
“We come to Mass in gratitude for the abundant blessings in our lives. With God’s grace, we leave growing in gratitude and strengthened by the real presence of Jesus in the Eucharist.”
We go out confident in the power of the Eucharist to; help us resist the daily temptations of the evil one; deepen our faith; grant that we grow in Holiness; and, lead us in being the best disciples and stewards we can be.
St. Augustine said, “When you hear "The body of Christ", you reply "Amen." Be a member of Christ's body, then, so that your "Amen" may ring true!” May your gratitude to God for the gift of Christ’s Body and Blood in the Holy Eucharist inspire you, so that, your life, and the stewardship you exercise over it, is a joyful witness to your ‘Amen’.
Dan is the Director of Mission Advancement for the Companions of the Cross. You can contact Dan at 613-728-3175.