We Are People of the Eucharist
Towards a renewed love for Holy Communion
Reflections on the Eucharist
by Bishop David Motiuk, Eparchy of Edmonton
The Institution of the Divine Eucharist
The centre of Christian worship is the celebration of the Divine Liturgy (Mass).
The Divine Liturgy. Known by many names, each expressing different aspects of the one and same Divine Action. The Holy Mass. Sacrifice. Sanctification. Mysteries. Offering and Oblation. Eucharist. Thanksgiving. Breaking of the Bread.
From the words of the Institution of the Divine Eucharist, we pray:
“On the night Jesus was given over – or, rather, gave Himself for the life of the world – He took bread into his holy, most pure and immaculate hands, gave thanks, blessed, sanctified and broke it; he gave it to his holy disciples and apostles, saying:
“Take, eat: This is my body, which is broken for you for the forgiveness of sins.
“In like manner he took the cup after the supper, saying:
“Drink of it, all of you. This is my blood of the New Covenant, which is poured out for you and for many for the forgiveness of sins” (Anaphora, Divine Liturgy of Saint John Chrysostom).
But why? Why did Jesus institute the Divine Eucharist?
In one sense, from the moment of his birth, Jesus’ life took the shape of a pilgrimage, a journey that would take him from Bethlehem to Jerusalem, where he would endure his passion and death upon the cross for the forgiveness of our sins.
Yet, his life was not to end there. His pilgrimage would lead him from the earthly Jerusalem to the heavenly Jerusalem where Jesus has returned to the heavens and is seated at the right hand of the Father.
And where he is, he desires that we be there with him. You see, our very own earthly pilgrimage – from our first breaths as a child to our very last breaths as an older person – are leading us to a return to the Garden of Eden, to Paradise, where once again we are home with God, as God intended it from the very beginning.
The Eucharist is food for the journey. Whereas we quickly grow hungry having only eaten a meal a mere few hours earlier, Jesus nourishes us with his own body and blood, spiritual food which will sustain us for the journey home to the Heavenly Kingdom.
I invite you to share with your family, friends, and fellow Knights how the Eucharist, Jesus’ very own body and blood, has sustained you along the journey, in times of spiritual growth, but especially in times of trouble and distress.
We are people of the Eucharist.