Daily Archives: June 16, 2011

Thursday, 16 Jun – Appreciating the Eucharist

16 Jun

2 Corinthians 11:1-11

I only wish you were able to tolerate a little foolishness from me. But of course: you are tolerant towards me. You see, the jealousy that I feel for you is God’s own jealousy: I arranged for you to marry Christ so that I might give you away as a chaste virgin to this one husband. But the serpent, with his cunning, seduced Eve, and I am afraid that in the same way your ideas may get corrupted and turned away from simple devotion to Christ. Because any newcomer has only to proclaim a new Jesus, different from the one that we preached, or you have only to receive a new spirit, different from the one you have already received, or a new gospel, different from the one you have already accepted – and you welcome it with open arms. As far as I can tell, these arch-apostles have nothing more than I have. I may not be a polished speechmaker, but as for knowledge, that is a different matter; surely we have made this plain, speaking on every subject in front of all of you.

Or was I wrong, lowering myself so as to lift you high, by preaching the gospel of God to you and taking no fee for it? I was robbing other churches, living on them so that I could serve you. When I was with you and ran out of money, I was no burden to anyone; the brothers who came from Macedonia provided me with everything I wanted. I was very careful, and I always shall be, not to be a burden to you in any way, and by Christ’s truth in me, this cause of boasting will never be taken from me in the regions of Achaia. Would I do that if I did not love you? God knows I do.

Matthew 6:7-15

Jesus said to his disciples: “In your prayers do not babble as the pagans do, for they think that by using many words they will make themselves heard. Do not be like them; your Father knows what you need before you ask him. So you should pray like this:

Our Father in heaven,
may your name be held holy,
your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
And forgive us our debts,
as we have forgiven those who are in debt to us.
And do not put us to the test,
but save us from the evil one.

“Yes, if you forgive others their failings, your heavenly Father will forgive you yours; but if you do not forgive others, your Father will not forgive your failings either.”

Give us today our daily bread

Earlier this year,  a friend of mine invited me to attend a worship session at her church. It was a non-denominational Christian church located in town. At the entrance of the worship hall, I noticed that there were ushers distributing little pre-sealed plastic containers containing a white circular wafer and some Ribena.

“It’s for communion service later,” explained my friend. They have it once a month. Later, during the service, the worshippers were invited to consume the wafer and Ribena after the pastor led them in prayer. I was amazed as each worshipper held the wafer and confessed their belief that it was the body of Christ. I was further amazed when they professed that, by consuming it, they would be healed and made whole again.

This left a deep impression on me. First, I was struck by how more and more Protestant churches are moving towards instituting a communion service during their Sunday worship. Apparently, this was not the only church to have one.

Second, I was struck by the reverence that they had for the body of Christ and the conviction with which they professed their belief in its healing power. It really made me wonder how much do I, as a cradle Catholic, truly appreciate and believe in the power of the Eucharist?

Having gone through catecheses, I do believe that the Eucharist is the real presence of Christ. This means that whenever I consume the Eucharist, I do believe that Christ is there, powerfully present in the host, and sanctifying me. However, I can’t deny the fact that there are times when I do tend to take the Eucharist for granted.

For instance, there are times when I consume the host out of habit and, after having received it from the communion minister, I walk back to my pew wondering what I’m going to do next once mass ends. There are times as well, when I kneel at the pew, with the host in my mouth and I’m at a lost about what to pray.  I end up uttering a quick prayer because I’m taught that that’s what I must do.

Nevertheless, I am thankful that, despite my inattention, I am still given many chances to seek God and be conscious of his real presence.  Unlike the worshippers in my friend’s church, I have the opportunity to receive Christ and encounter him in the Eucharist every single day in daily mass. I also have the opportunity to seek him out in adoration.

Including readily-available reflection booklets and easily-accessible online reflections on God’s words, there are indeed a lot of avenues available for us to seek God for our daily bread.

The next time I receive Christ in the Eucharist, I am going to give him my full attention.

Nothing is too big or too small for our Lord to handle. In a world that is constantly changing and challenges are rife, we need Christ as our sustenance. Let’s try to maximise the graces that God has given us.

(Today’s OXYGEN by Cassandra Cheong)

Prayer: Lord, sustain us. Help us to encounter you frequently in the Eucharist and to rely on your strength for our daily bread.

Thanksgiving: We give thanks to God for the institution of the priesthood and for people through whom He has given us our daily bread.

Upcoming Readings:
Fri, 17 Jun – 2 Corinthians 11:18.21-30; Matthew 6:19-23
Sat, 18 Jun – 2 Corinthians 12:1-10; Matthew 6:24-34
Sun, 19 Jun – Exodus 34:4-6.8-9; 3 Corinthians 13:11-13; John 3:16-18; Trinity Sunday