Saint Gabriel Parish, August 22-23, 2015
Over the past five weeks, we have listened to what is often called the Bread of Life discourse, the sixth chapter of the Gospel of John. This chapter offers some of the most profound teaching surrounding our belief in the true presence of Christ: body, blood, soul, and divinity in the Eucharist. We have heard a lot about the Eucharist, had its importance proclaimed for us, and now that we have come to the end of this Bread of Life discourse Jesus has an ultimatum for us. We are challenged to believe what Jesus has said about himself, being the food of eternal life, or leave like the rest of the disciples who found that teaching too hard to believe. It is hard to believe that the entirety of God-made-man exists in a small piece of consecrated bread, or in a little sip of consecrated wine. If we believe in who Jesus is, however, how much more difficult is it to believe in the Eucharist? Not that much harder to believe, God has already shown his desire to take on a lesser form for the sole purpose of our salvation. There are three moments in the Liturgy that I want to point out to highlight the importance of the Incarnation in relationship to the Eucharist.
(1) When we say the Creed, following the homily, we get to the part “by the Holy Spirit was incarnate of the Virgin Mary, and became man” we will bow in recognition of the Incarnation. The Eucharist is not even mentioned in the Creed, our basic statement of faith and the Eucharist - the source and summit of our faith - is not even mentioned. The Early Church Fathers certainly believed in the Eucharist. Perhaps the Eucharist was not included was the connection between who Jesus is, and what he said about himself, that assures our belief in the Eucharist.
|The mingling of the water and wine|
|The great Amen|