HOMILY
RESURRECTION AND THE EUCHARIST

Fr Rodney Kissinger, S.J.

If you can't find what you're looking for, use our site search!


powered by> FreeFind

 

 

 


 

There is an important connection between the Resurrection and the Eucharist. The Eucharist IS the Risen Jesus. Therefore, the Eucharist makes the Resurrection present and active in our lives and enables us to experience the joy and the power of the Resurrection.

The Resurrection is the reason for the observance of Sunday instead of the Sabbath. According to the Gospel it was early in the morning on the first day of the week that the Risen Jesus appeared to Mary Magdalene. It was also on the evening of that first day of the week that the Risen Jesus appeared to the Apostles when Thomas was not present. Then a week later, on the first day of the week, he appeared again when Thomas was present.

So the Apostles began to celebrate the first day of the week, Sunday, as the beginning of the re-creation of the world just as they had celebrated the Sabbath as the end of the creation of the world. Originally the Liturgical Year was simply fifty-two Sundays, fifty-two celebrations of the Eucharist, fifty-two celebrations of the Resurrection. Today the Eucharist is still the principal way of celebrating the Resurrection and proclaiming the Mystery of Faith: “Christ has died, Christ is risen, Christ will come again.”

As we have seen the joy and the power of the Resurrection is not found in the empty tomb or in the witness of some one else it is found only in a personal encounter with the Risen Jesus. The Eucharist, the Risen Jesus, gives us an opportunity for this personal encounter. Will all who receive the Eucharist have a personal encounter with the Risen Jesus? Yes they will. Unfortunately, not all will recognize the Risen Jesus.

Mary Magdalene had a personal encounter with the Risen Jesus but did not recognize him. She thought it was the gardener. It was not until she recognized Jesus that she experienced the joy and the power of the Resurrection. The two disciples on the road to Emmaus had a personal encounter with the Risen Jesus and thought that it was a stranger. It was not until they recognized him in the “breaking of the bread” that they experienced the joy and the power of the Resurrection.

The Eucharist is also a pledge of our own resurrection. “I am the living bread come down from heaven; whoever eats this bread will live forever; and the bread that I will give is my flesh for the life of the world.” The Eucharist tells us that in death life is changed not ended. It is not so much life after death but life through death. Death is the door to life. This takes away the fear of death and gives us consolation at the death of a loved one.

The Eucharist also continues the two fold effect of the Resurrection which is to confirm the faith of the Apostles and to create the Christian Community. These are two sides of the same coin. To believe is to belong. Community was an integral part of the life of the first Christians. They were of one mind and one heart. When the Apostles asked the Lord to teach them how to pray, he taught them the “OUR Father.” In the Creed we say, “WE believe.” It is a personal commitment made in the community of believers. The Eucharist also confirms the faith of the recipient and is the principle of unity and community. Without the Christian Community we lose our roots and our identity and our ability to survive in our culture which is diametrically opposed to Christ.

Through the Eucharist the Risen Jesus continues his two fold mission of proclaiming the Good News and healing the sick. Every celebration of the Eucharist proclaims the Good News and heals the sick. The Liturgy of the Word proclaims the Good News and the Liturgy of the Eucharist heals the sick. If people were healed simply by touching the hem of His garment how much more healing must come from receiving His Body and Blood?

How ridiculous it is then when people ask, “Do I have an obligation to go to Mass on Sunday?” If obligation is going to determine whether or not you go to Mass forget the obligation. You have a greater problem than that. Your problem is faith, you don’t believe. You don’t believe that the Eucharist IS the Risen Christ. You just don’t realize the connection between the Resurrection and the Eucharist.

In just a few moments we will receive the Eucharist and once again have an opportunity for a personal encounter with the Risen Jesus. Let us ask for the faith to recognize him in the “breaking of the bread” so that we are able to say with Thomas, “My Lord and my God,” and in so doing experience the joy and the power of the Resurrection.











© 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013 Fr Rodney Kissinger, S.J. all rights reserved