I wonder how often we celebrate our Sunday Eucharist for reasons that have little or nothing to do with Christianity?

Do we come, with the top priority of remembering “all the way which the Lord your God has led you” – as

OUR FIRST READING [DEUTERONOMY 8: 2 – 3. 145b – 16a] challenges us to do. As we continue with this extract, do we accept that at our Sunday Eucharist the Lord God is testing you to know what was in your heart …. and make you know that man does not live on bread alone …. but lives by everything that proceeds out of the mouth of the Lord?”

The Christian at worship and Eucharist remembers and gives thanks to the Lord for rescuing us from bondage … who leads us through difficult times …. provides for our thirst and hunger in remarkable ways. All of this is outlined in this splendid Old Testament extract.

These are the reasons which have everything to do with our Sunday celebrations

. As TODAY’S PSALM [147] tells us – he has not dealt thus with other nations.”

Finally, Deuteronomy tells us that we must know our own hunger if the Lord is going to feed us!

The Eucharist is not only about our redemption – it is also about our creation. However, in our celebration of Eucharist we must look for what will make the difference rather than settle for what is immediately apparent.

If you find this difficult to understand then you need to look at OUR SECOND READING [1 CORINTHIANS 10: 16 – 17].

There we read – the cup of blessing which we bless, is it not a participation in the blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it not a participation in the body of Christ?”

{Now before proceeding with the principal truths of this quotation let me vent my personal spleen at two particular absurdities in the ‘new’ translation of the Mass. (1) it is the cup of blessing –

NOT the chalice; and (2) WE bless the cup and WE break the bread – it is OUR sacrifice, and not mine and yours. The Eucharist is something WE do together! I refuse to pray that “my sacrifice and yours will be acceptable …..” This is an impoverished attempt to reestablish clerical superiority. No priest should be able to live with himself if his life involves any posture of superiority or condescension.}

In our celebration of Eucharist we are PARTICIPATING in the person of Jesus Christ, in his mission and ministry, as well as his challenge which must be presented to the world in which we live. All of this can only be presented to our world by and through us. This is why (as was stated earlier) the Eucharist is not only about our redemption but about our creation. In the Body and Blood of Christ we are created anew so that, primarily, we become – each one of us – Eucharist ourselves: Eucharist to the world in which we live as we remind ourselves and others of the wonders the Lord does in our own time (refer back to the reading from Deuteronomy), and – especially – the need to recognise our own hunger for God.

The mystery of the Body and Blood of Christ should never be removed from the ordinary. Eucharist is, indeed, a mystery but it should never become mysterious or secret. This was the problem created for themselves by some of the Jews in

TODAY’S GOSPEL EXTRACT [JOHN 6: 51 – 58], who disputed among themselves, saying, ‘How can this man give us his flesh to eat’?” They were worried about the how, not the possibility! In addition theydisputed among themselves. The Eucharist should never lead us to any form of dispute. It is the Mystery of Faith but it is also the mystery of Jesus’ humanity (his real body and blood) blended (not mixed) into his divine presence here in our world …. that which has come down from heaven” and given for the life of the world.” Yes, for the LIFE of the world – and this is why Eucharist is not only about our redemption but also about our creation. The Body and Blood of the Lord is about our ongoing creation to become something special and pivotal for the world in which we live.

The Eucharistic Lord must never be confined or limited to the perpetual adoration syndrome. Adoration is a real part of it all – but only a part. We must always see the ordinary (our lives and our world) in the extraordinary (that which comes down from heaven). If we refuse to see this then we settle for a soul-destroying staleness. We fail to PARTICIPATE! Our celebration of Eucharist, our Communion of his Body and Blood, must look for what will make a difference – a difference not only to us, but IN us. As our Gospel extract proclaims: he who eats and drinks abides in me, and I, in him … and (he)

WILL live because of me.”

If we return to our reading from Deuteronomy we are reminded that the Eucharist should humble us as we recognise that it calls us to PARTICIPATE – not only in a rite of remembering a past event but also in a mission of DOING!