Church leaders use a lot of religious language to describe what we believe in: salvation, resurrection, communion. But in our rituals, we use very familiar signs to explain what we mean by all this. Eucharist is one of these. Oh, for the pleasure of a meal with friends!
Friendship is a kind of sacrament of its own. We share histories with our friends. We tell the story of our lives and find common ground. And when we come together, we share food. The warmth and comfort of a meal reflects the nature of our relationship with one another. We celebrate the union of our hearts around the table.
In the unique gathering of our Eucharist, we also acknowledge the great story of God and our relationship with the Holy One through Jesus Christ. Our eyes are opened in this meal to recognise the common ground we hold with divinity: the reign of God itself. Our friendship with God through Christ is true yesterday, today, and forever. This is what our faith means. Everything we need to know about God is in this meal.
The Scripture (Luke 24:30-31) The walk to Emmaus
When he was at table with the disciples, he took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to them. Then their eyes were opened, and they recognised him; and he vanished from their sight.
Archbishop Rembert Weakland, the former Archbishop of Milwaukee said in an interview in the magazine The Critic: ‘If younger people are having an identity problem as Catholics, I tell them to do two things: Go to Mass every Sunday, and work in a soup kitchen. If one does those two things over a period of time, then something will happen to give one a truly Catholic identity. The altar and the marketplace – these two – must be related to each other; when they are, one works better, and one prays better’.
You travel along life’s highway, and often it seems humdrum and ordinary, even discouraging at times
But then, God meets us along the road, and we feel the joy of God’s presence.
You experience God’s love, and you come to share God’s love with family, friends, and those you encounter day by day.
We feel our spirits restored, our purpose clarified, and our faith in Jesus Christ affirmed. Amen.
GPBS © (2023)