Dromantine celebrates Novena in honour of St Therese
Sr Mercedes is a Sister of St Clare and Regional Coordinator for her Congregation, based in Co Armagh. She spoke on the 5th evening of the Novena in Dromantine. Her edited homily can be read here.
Eucharist & Service
In St Matthew’s Gospel, chapter 26, verse 26 we read: “While they were eating, Jesus took bread, gave thanks and broke it and said, ‘Take and eat this is my body’. In the same way, after supper, he took the cup, saying, ‘This cup is a new covenant in my blood, do this whenever you drink it, in remembrance of me. For whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.’”
“Do this in memory of me”
This command is repeated every time we celebrate the Eucharist
What exactly did it mean for Jesus?
Jesus is the Blessed one of God whose own body was broken and whose entire life was given and shared for us.
“Do this in memory of me”
What does it mean for us?
We are called and blessed by Jesus and we are challenged to imitate him by the way we live our lives, even to the cost of having them shared and broken for God’s people.
He says to us at every Mass as he will say this evening “This is my Body for you now today”
The amazing in the ordinary: Jesus used ordinary things – Bread and Wine at the last supper, he continues to use ordinary things Bread & Wine this evening to become present on this altar.
Today, Jesus uses ordinary people like us to become present in our world. To become present in our homes, where we work and where we socialise. etc He has no other way of becoming bodily present in our world today only through our bodies.
Eucharist cannot be only a Sunday ritual, separated from or unconnected to our daily living. The Eucharist is intended not only to feed and nurture us when we receive Holy Communion but it is meant to help us to leave the Church alert and alive to feed and nurture those around us in whatever way they need feeding and nurturing.
The Eucharist must be part of the fabric of our daily lives.
Christ has no body now but YOURS and MINE
No hands, no feet, no eyes , no ears, no heart but ours….
Each one of us a CARRIER of the TRINITY as we leave the church and go out to our homes and other places.
You are very familiar with this story of the Washing of the feet at the Last Supper, it is so often dramatized in our churches on Holy Thursday evening. You know the scene so well …. Jesus goes down on his knees before his disciples, adopting an inferior position, this is the posture of a slave or a servant.
Remember when he did this Peter made a fuss and tried to stop him. Then Jesus warns Peter and the other disciples unless they allow him to wash their feet they can have no part of him. But that is not the end he orders them, dramatically, to repeat this action by washing each other’s feet. His words are firm and clear
“As I have done so you must do” (John 13:14)
No ifs or buts or maybe try to do this if you can…but a straight command ‘AS I HAVE DONE YOU MUST DO’
The Foot-washing, at the last Supper, stands as a permanent reminder of the way Jesus wants his disciples, (US) to live. The heart of it all is SERVICE of others.
“Do this in memory of me”
So we ask ourselves where is the foot-washing in our lives?
Whose feet do we wash through our outreach or service in our homes, parishes or at work?
To what extent is the foot-washing that marks my life, done in memory of Jesus, consciously or unconsciously?
Big question for us to ask ourselves daily…. ‘Whose feet do I need to wash today?’
You know what is meant by this ….who is needing me today to help them?
To listen/to care/to spend time/ to pray with/ to forgive
To help another we need to say NO to ourselves.
Just before we receive Holy Communion at Mass
The priest breaks the Host just before he holds it up and says – Behold the Lamb of God…….
So we ask ourselves will we recognise him in the breaking of the bread?
Are we ready to be BREAD broken and shared for God’s people?
As we receive Holy Communion we say ‘Amen’ in response to ‘Body of Christ’
That “Amen” what does it mean?
What are we really saying?
What does it really mean for us?
The Original Hebrew word for Amen means: True…Faithful….Certain…Very definite – to be SURE about something.
Our Amen flows into our Living as Christ’s Body in our world each day….What a huge challenge…….
It is saying Yes Lord, I believe it is YOU I am receiving and Yes, I will be your BODY wherever I go this day in your world and Yes you can work through me.
Mine will be a ‘hands on’ ministry to your people.
I am prepared to be broken and shared in order to be of service your people
I will be your WITNESS in all I do and say today.
Sunday Mass may gather and scatter us, but between Sundays we are called to live with Jesus’ abiding memory
Do this in memory of me… the final command at the end of Mass ‘to go now to love and serve the Lord’ or in the new translation, ‘Go Now proclaim the Gospel by the way you live your lives’ or ‘Go now glorifying the Lord by your life’.
This command reminds us that God’s eternal mission continues through each one of us, who are sent out in the Name of Jesus.…
To be HIS bread now
To be HIS wine now
To be a sign of HIS love now
Blessed and broken
Poured out for others
To be HIS body once again for our family, our work mates our neighbours and for our world today. I will finish with a little reflection I found some years ago on our daily living the Eucharist
He was old, tired and pushing his homemade cart down the alley stopping now and then to poke around in somebody’s rubbish.
I wanted to tell him about EUCHARIST.
But the look in his eyes, The despair in his face,
The hopelessness of somebody’s life in his cart, told me to forget it
So I smiled, said “Hello” at him and gave him EUCHARIST.
She lived alone, her husband dead,
her family gone and she talked at you,
not to you, words, endless words, came out of her
So I listened – and gave her EUCHARIST.
I laughed at myself, and told myself,
“You with all your sins, and all your selfishness,
I forgive you, I accept you, I love you”
It’s good, and so necessary to give yourself EUCHARIST
You see EUCHARIST in another’s eyes,
give it in another’s hand held tight,
squeeze it in an embrace
You pause EUCHARIST in the middle of a busy day,
speak it in another’s ear,
listen to it from a person wants to talk.
For EUCHARIST is as simple as being on time
And as profound as sympathy.
I give you my supper
I give you my sustenance,
I give you my life,
I give you me
I give you EUCHARIST.
Let us pray for each other that in our daily living we will give Eucharist to each other each day.