Understanding the Eucharist

Issue 32

The Mass Series:

Once we’ve prayed our intercessions we then begin the second great section of the Mass.  We’ve had the Liturgy of the Word and now we move to the Liturgy of the Eucharist.

Now, Eucharist is an awkward Greek word which simply means thanksgiving. In Greek even now if I want to say thank you I say ‘efcharistó’. Which is the same word as gives us Eucharist.

Often these days instead of saying Mass we say the Eucharist. It’s great sacrifice of thanksgiving.

First of all you have the procession of the gifts.  The bread and the wine, and sometimes other gifts, are brought forward. But as the bread and wine are brought forward, so too are our whole lives.

The bread and wine are symbolic of many, many things. All that we are, all that we have, all that we’ve made.  Even the whole cosmos.  The whole material world is gathered up in those gifts of bread and wine.  And they are brought forward not as something that we ourselves have created – they are brought forward from all the gifts of God.

So, in bringing those gifts forward one thing we are saying is that everything is a gift from God. Absolutely everything.  We can claim nothing of our own.

So, we bring to God from the gifts that God Himself has given us.  All of them.  And, symbolic of all of them are the gifts of bread and wine.

Then the priest takes the bread and says: “Blessed are You, Lord God of all creation for through Your goodness we have received the bread we offer You” – it’s Your gift. Not our gift to You. This is Your gift to us. So, God owns everything. All we can do is receive the gift.

Similarly with the wine: “Blessed are You, Lord God of all creation for through Your goodness we have the wine we offer You”.

So, with the bread there is our whole life. With the wine there is our whole life. In other words, our whole life is a gift from God and once you see that you can live a life of thanksgiving. A life of real gratitude.

And that’s what it really means to be human to live within the life of God Himself.



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17 Smith St, Morley WA 6062
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