Often times we come to church in order to
receive something: Communion. We want the spiritual nourishment Jesus’
Body and Blood will give us. There’s certainly nothing wrong with
that! But we have another reason to gather: to give thanks to God for
all the gifts we have received. The gift of life, of love, of family,
friends, laughter, music, good work . . the list can go on and on.
At our gathering the very high point is the
Eucharistic Prayer. In it the presider gives voice to all of the
things for which we are grateful. But in order for it to be as
fulfilling to each of us as the reception of communion, we must be
invested in the prayer in faith.
The Eucharistic Prayer is our prayer and we
need to claim ownership over it. We should bring to the prayer a deep
awareness of God’s blessings received throughout our week, then, when
the priest speaks the words of the prayer we can be assured that our
own personal thanksgiving will be included and heard by God.
The Eucharistic Prayer calls down the Holy
Spirit to transform the bread and wine into Christ’s Body and Blood.
The Holy Spirit also transforms us into the living Body of Christ. We
too are consecrated in the Eucharist because we have joined our will to
the Father’s will. We are to continue Christ’s ministry in the world
for Christ has no physical body on earth but us.
The music of the Eucharistic Prayer is
ours, too. We acclaim the holiness of God and testify in song to the
mystery of our faith. Finally, when the prayer is concluded we join in a
resounding “Amen,” announcing that we believe that through Jesus, all
glory and honor belongs to God the Father. (August