Fr Rodney Kissinger, S.J.
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.
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.
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.
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