Eucharist is mission

Fr Paul Mooney describes himself as ‘A Gospel traveller with the Mill Hill Missionaries, who has worked in Kenya, Pakistan and the Philippine Islands.’ Here he shares his reflection on the Eucharist

As a priest, I have celebrated the Eucharist in many magnificent churches, in small self-constructed chapels, on the lakeside in Galilee, on hillsides, in fields and on seashores with the faithful.

What a beautiful responsibility God has given us to share, to bear fruit that will last, and to transform the world!

Dialogue with the world

The task before us is to enter into dialogue with the world: our family, relatives, friends and neighbours and strangers; to offer, to listen, to respect, to learn, these are all essential aspects of the mission set before us; to resist the temptation to restrict God’s grace only to ourselves or those who share our faith, and, instead, to reach out in his name with the assistance of the Holy Spirit, to all.

We are called to extend our care especially to the poor, the marginalised, the persecuted, the exploited, those who are denied justice, those denied the peace they deserve and that God wants for them, the stranger who feels beyond forgiveness and without hope, and those who promote secularism and a culture of death.

My responsibility is to make sure that the Eucharist I celebrate and the presence of the Lord whom I receive penetrates and positively transforms all aspects of my life; my attitudes, my behaviour, my words and deeds. My life must demonstrate what I believe and what I have received.

Sharing what I have received

‘Mission’, in this regard, means that I must find effective and affective ways of sharing what I have received. It may be the helpful gesture I extend to someone in need, the smile I share, the kind word I express, the friendship I offer to friend and stranger alike, the humility to seek forgiveness and reconciliation from the one I have wronged, to practice less judgement and more tolerance; the possibilities are boundless! This is truly the ‘efficacy’ of the Eucharist finding expression through me.

The Eucharist has always been one of the most important aspects of Christianity.

The Catechism of the Catholic Church strongly asserts the ‘Real Presence’ of Jesus’ body in the Eucharist; this is to say that the sacrament is not symbolic of the body and blood of Jesus but rather that it is his body and blood.

If I am to be ‘salt of the earth and light to the world’, then I must quell the anger that so prevails in the world today and replace it with respect, as I approach, reach out, assist, care for and dialogue with the world and its peoples. This is what our Lord did before me. This is what he asks of me today.

True meaning; lasting satisfaction

Only in the Eucharist will I find true meaning and lasting satisfaction. Even in the tranquility and peace I experience after receiving Holy Communion will fan the fire of faith into a flame, burning in my heart, excited, as the first disciples were, to share the good news that brings hope, love, peace, truth, justice, purpose, direction and life.

Truly, in the Eucharist I become a new creation, fit for mission and ready to glorify God through my life.

This is an excerpt from Adoremus Extra, which is available from Redemptorist Publications

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