In the face of the Eucharist together with the faith, reverence and devotion that so many of us have, and our eagerness to

RECEIVE, what – in reality – do we GIVE, what RETURN to the Lord do we make? TODAY’S FIRST READING [GENESIS 14: 18 – 20] tells us that “Abram gave him a tenth of everything.” I am not talking about the tithing of our material possessions (though this I firmly believe has a real faith and scriptural value) – but am questioning what exactly is the return I provide to God-in-Christ’s investment in the Eucharist? “This is my Body ….. this is my Blood given for you.”

Did the Lord make a risky investment with, in and through the Eucharist

? Recall the reflection for the Ascension and “the man putting his capital into their hands.” Add to this what TODAY’S PSALM [110 or 109] teaches: “the Lord has sworn an oath he will not change.”Another Psalm [81 or 80] tells us: “he fed them with the finest wheat, and satisfied them with honey from the rock.”{these words form today’s ENTRANCE ANTIPHON.}

Do we change too much and too often as we vary the return we make on Christ’s investment?

What is the purpose of the Lord’s investment, this bag of gold put into our hands

?

Why are we fed? Why do we feed others? Why do we feed our children? In fact babies are breast-fed for the first period of their lives! Is it not to nurture life, to ensure that people grow to be healthy that they may live to their full potential as human beings?

So I want to return to last week’s reflection where we ended with some fundamental questions about

PARENTING, CREATING and GIFTING. Do these three not all begin by feeding and nurturing?

What is, too often, forgotten or overlooked is the fact that our participation in, celebration and receiving of the Eucharist, is primarily aimed to be reproduced by us in our living of Christian witness and nurturing of others. We are fed in order that we grow strong enough to nurture others. After each celebration we are sent out to nurture others because we ourselves have been nurtured. Therefore we are able to ask ourselves again some challenging questions – when I have been nurtured and leave Eucharist, am I eager (i) to parent those I meet and live with … empower and set them free; (ii) to be creative by ensuring that my words build and encourage; and (iii) to be a gifting person by giving others the means to become other than what they are?

Is this not the RETURN I should be making on the

Lord’s investment? The Eucharist should never be seen as a private soliloquy between me and Jesus. This was not the Lord’s intention. He made it clear that we should DO this in memory of me. Saint Paul confirms this in our SECOND READING [1 CORINTHIANS 11: 23 – 26].

However,

OUR GOSPEL READING [LUKE 9: 11b – 17] adds a very special confirmation and emphasis to what we have been speaking about. Jesus did not want the crowds to go away as the Twelve said to him. This suggestion was turned against them with the challenge “you give them something to eat.”The challenge given to the Twelve is given to us – to me and to you! There is no escape from this conclusion. What Jesus actually said to them was – YOU parent them, YOUcreate for them, YOU gift them.

Very often the resources at our disposal may seem unequal to the task –

“we have no more than five loaves and two fish.” The message of Jesus is very clear – use what you have. There is no need to wait. Efforts to increase resources before starting will cause be a delay. People are already there, waiting to be parented, created and gifted. A lack of the perceived necessary resources can very often become an excuse for non-action!

In any case there will seldom be abundant resources, and what we GIVE (the immediate return) will provide a satisfactory first course!

 

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