Our role in the Eucharist
JOHN HUNT writes that we play a profound role in the Lord’s gift of Himself . . .
Silent, meditative prayer is a very special way in which we can dialogue with Our Lord. As we talk to him and listen to him, we come closer to him in the silence of our hearts.
Many of us are not easily drawn to private prayer. The pace of our lives, the noise of the world, and the contradictions of daily life drown out our conversation with the Lord. But despite the challenges to grow in a life of prayer, be assured that he is waiting for us. He wants to welcome us into a relationship with himself. As he humbled himself to be born, to live a life of obedience to his parents, and to subject himself to the ignominy of the cross only to overcome the world by his resurrection, so too he humbles himself daily to be with us, to be consumed by us and so to travel with us throughout the day.
This gift, this Eucharist, is worthy of our meditation because the Lord’s gift of himself is, in a sense, the product of our mutual self-giving. We know that the Eucharist is Jesus’ body, blood, soul and divinity. The miraculous changing of bread and wine into himself begins, not with the bread and wine, but rather with the wheat and the grapes. He gives us the material to which we apply our human talent and energy, thereby giving back to him the bread and wine that, through transubstantiation, becomes his body and blood for our spiritual and physical nourishment.
The Lord does as we ask in prayer: “Prosper the work of our hands O Lord, prosper the work of our hands.” This mutual self-giving is a very tangible expression of our love for Jesus Christ and of his love for us. By this self-giving we become central participants in the Eucharist, not simply “bit players” in a divine/human miracle. As we receive Jesus in the Eucharist we become, as a modern-day saint has said, “Other Christs.”
If your silent prayer seems dry and without form or substance, simply begin by telling Jesus, “Lord, I don’t know how to pray.” If you do that, you can be assured you have already begun to pray.
The Lord invites us to the table and reminds us, “Unless you eat my flesh and drink my blood you will not have life everlasting.” How blessed we are to have such a precious gift!
JOHN HUNT is Legatus’ executive director. He and his wife Kathie are charter members of Legatus’ Chicago Chapter.