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Meditation on the Eucharist

BE STILL AND KNOW THAT I AM GOD.

Be in your prayer space, follow the usual steps and settle into silence.

Sit still…..Relax…….Do not rush………

Take a couple of gentle, slow and deep breaths…becoming aware of your breath going in and out… stay focused on this breath of life……

Now from the depth of your heart begin to wish your mind well……….

Take a moment. Bless your day. Let your day Bless you……Take another moment. Bless your world. Let your world bless you……

Every day that we wake up is a good day. Every breath that we take is filled with hope for a better day. Every word that we speak is a chance to change what is bad into something good…….Now from the depth of heart, wish your mind well……

Now I invite you to consecrate this day and all that come with this day….in your own way, in humble, simple, may be even inadequate words………..

I pray for you and I pray for all, who, at this moment, are receiving the gift of this new day! May God bless you and keep you safe in the center of His Love!

I invite you to pray for each other and for all, who, at this moment, are receiving the gift of this new day!

This Sunday, we celebrate feasts of the Eucharist: The Body and Blood of Christ, the bread of Life and the wine of compassion. The bread with which we are fed does not merely satisfy our physical hungers. The bread God gives also takes the form of the living Word that nourishes the spirit and strengthens our will. It is not on bread alone that man lives but “by every word that comes from the mouth of God”.

To live by the Word of God means to be still and to listen for His Word, to change, to grow and be transformed by His Word. This means that we must be open to God’s Word and let the Word become flesh in our life, let it transform our attitudes, our disposition, our values and shape and transform our lives – let the word continue to become incarnate in our lives.

To eat the flesh and to drink the blood of Jesus is to take in the whole person of Jesus….To take Jesus in and let him transform us. In this eating and drinking, we are brought into communion with Christ and with the whole body of Christ. The gift of Jesus as bread was and continues to be a challenge to all followers of Jesus. Eucharist is a sacred meal of communion, of togetherness, of thanksgiving, of sacrifice, of total giving. Eucharist is a life-altering, life-transforming gift. The Eucharist is a redeeming, transforming, life-giving, fulfilling, joy filled celebration. The Eucharist is, therefore, the completion, the crowning, and the fulfillment of Christ’s love. Let Jesus in and let him transform you!

Anyone who is familiar with wheat and grapes knows that the story of bread and wine is indeed a story of life and death………. how wonderful it is that Jesus chose this sign as the symbol that will make real his continued presence among us.

Our lives are a little like the wheat that becomes bread. We have similar experiences of dying and rising, being broken and shared …….

Bread is born in the death of grains….the seed that falls into the ground dies and the wheat is born and new grains of wheat are born….they die again being ground into flour….the flour is sifted and changed into loaves for rising….Oh, what an awesome process of transformation!!!

And it didn’t happen without pain or sacrifice…..if the grains could cry or shout or scream, they would…may be, they do cry and shout and scream and we are unable to hear it….may be, we are too hungry and we don’t listen…or may be, we just don’t care!

Grain becomes bread in dying and in rising…. only to die and rise again in being eaten and transformed into flesh and blood……unless the grain of wheat dies it just remains a grain, said the Master!!!

We bake bread, break bread and share it…next time share it with reverence……deep, intense, personal reverence remembering the awesome process through which the bread came to us…..

Jesus broke bread with us and asked us not to forget…we haven’t! He asked us to remember and we did and we continue to remember…… If there is any command we have not forgotten, if there is any command that have religiously observed, it is this command to “remember” and do it again and again!

We have broken bread again and again…..we have done it with faith…we have done it with tears….we have done it even when our hearts felt nothing…we have done it without understanding….we have done it with profound sense of being fed by God….we are still trying to understand what it all means. But we haven’t forgotten….we have remembered!

In Basilicas, in Cathedrals, in big Churches, in small chapels, in small groups, with family, with friends, with strangers…we meet, we break bread…and something happens to the bread and much more, something happens to us! We remember and we remind each other that we meet again and again to celebrate the life that comes out of so much death….bread born out of brokenness…………

The wine? It too is born out of pain, of death experience! After days of ripening, the grapes are crushed and squeezed into unfamiliar form…waiting in barrels and vats….finally to be tasted, filled into bottles, loves, accepted…….

Next time you pick up a glass of wine…look at it, smell it, sip it, taste it relish it with reverence…… deep, intense, personal reverence remembering the awesome process through which the wine came to us…..

Jesus took a cup, blessed, shared it and asked us not to forget…we haven’t! He asked to remember and we did and we continue to do. If there is any command we have not forgotten, if there is any command that have religiously observed, it is this command to “remember” and do it again and again!

We have taken the cup and shared it again and again…..we have done it with faith…we have done it with tears….we have done it even when our hearts felt nothing…we have done it without understanding….we have done it with profound sense of being fed God….we are still trying to understand what it all means. But we haven’t forgotten….we have remembered!

In Basilicas, in Cathedrals, in big Churches, in small chapels, in small groups, with family, with friends, with strangers…we meet, we share the cup…and something happens to the wine and much more, something happens to us! We remember and we remind each other that we meet again and again to celebrate the life that comes out of so much death….wine born out of being crushed……

Almost anything can happen at a table! Anything can happen when you share a meal! How can we hand bread and the cup to one another and remain the same?

We gather as strangers……we sit hungry and thirsty…we share a common hunger and thirst and we eat the bread and drink the cup that give us life. And when we eat together, the possibility remains that someday we will leave as friends…..we will recognize each other as brothers and sisters…some day when our hands reach for the bread our hands will touch and we will recognize each other and we will recognize the Master!

Someone sits beside us, in front of us, behind us breaking bread with us and sharing the cup with us…we are slow to recognize what’s happening in the breaking of the bread and that’s because we are slow to trust…it takes so long to be Church!

We long to recognize Christ….We struggle to trust the stranger that he sends down the road and into our gatherings…..we fail to recognize the gift in the struggle and often we miss the blessing, the gift that the stranger brings……

This remembrance of Jesus in breaking the bread and sharing the cup continues to create a sacred “connection”, a “communion”, a “fellowship”, an eternal bond with the Lord and with one another. The Eucharist creates and sustains the Christian community. We remember, we celebrate and we become one in Christ.

Fr. Gus Tharappel,msfs