As part of our participation in the Renewal, I will be sharing responses from members of the parish. I hope you will enjoy reading their thoughts, be encouraged by their thoughts, and be challenged to look at how you see and live the Eucharist as part of your life.
From a Parishioner
- Why is it important to you to attend Mass? To me, it is very clear from reading the Bible that we were not meant to worship only in private. We were meant to worship in community. Jesus gathered with his disciples in the upper room, he sent them off in pairs to tell the good news etc. Especially when Jesus gives the command “do this in remembrance of me,” he was talking about the Eucharist to be celebrated in communion with others. As my wife, Terri, often says, Mass is like a family meal – we come together, and gathering as a community is a blessing and a gift to us. I love seeing our community.
- What does it mean to you to receive the Eucharist/Body of Christ? To me, receiving the Eucharist is celebration of being called to be the Body of Christ – it is strengthening us for our journey – it is celebrating also the intense love the Christ has for us – love so strong that he instituted the Eucharist so that he could be with us always until the end of time. It is also a calling from God to take part in something that I can never truly understand – a mystery of transubstantiation.
- How does receiving the Eucharist/Body of Christ help you, change you, challenge you? Eucharist changes me every time….and also over time. I hope that I am becoming more like Christ. It challenges me to let go of earthly things and look beyond – look to Christ. Eucharist challenges me to want – to desire as deeply as possible – to serve Christ and others. Eucharist challenges me to sacrifice….and to joy. Sacrifice and joy are joined in the Eucharist because the giving back is a celebration of all the gifts we have been given – especially the gift of Jesus’ presence.
- How is your receiving the Eucharist/Body of Christ reflected in your life, shared with your world? Coming to Mass and participating in the Eucharist is very much about strengthening me to live Christ’s calling in a world that seems challenging, self-centered, and often bleak. The Eucharist reminds me of Christ’s sacrifice and reminds me that Christ’s love has and will triumph over everything.
- Other thoughts you’d like to share. I love that our diocese is doing this. And, I hope that the diocese will also look at why people are not attending. I can talk to others till I am blue in the face about this, but I think the church needs to really ask itself how it can demonstrate its relevance in peoples’ lives. For families with LGBTQ+ people, how is our church helping everyone to search for God? For families with children, how is our church trying to make Mass and other gatherings appeal to children as well. What can we do differently that will help more people to love the Mass, love the Eucharist, and love Christ more. How have recent scandals in the church and the use of the Eucharist as a political weapon diminished its value? I have many more thoughts, but this will have to do for now.