HOW ARE YOU….YES, YOU?
And how are WE….yes, WE, the Eucharistic Community?
As we continue to contemplate what is being asked of us during this time of un-ease emanating from the pandemic, Rose Marie Crowe* asks:
IS THIS OUR YEAR OF FAVOUR?
“Lockdown (and ongoing restrictions) have left many fretting for the lack of Eucharist. Somehow, we know the Eucharist is essential, but what is available to (most of) us is a private devotion” or a conscious time around the family meal to recall our gratitude for Jesus’ life or something of our creative nature. “We long to sit in quiet adoration of the Real Presence….We hasten to sign up to attend Mass” with many not amongst us for so many weeks. “We watch online as the priest goes through the motions of Mass” finding our own particular way to ‘participate'. This appreciation of our current spiritual and communal terrain may lead us to ask - how are we finding the nourishment that can 'keep us on track’ to be the followers Jesus needs us to be at this time?
Such nourishment can come in many ways. Jesus can be present by many pathways. At our liturgy of the Mass we celebrate our communal faith in the ONE we remember as our anchor and compassionate presence. And what we may need to take time to appreciate again now is how our human condition needs the vibrancy of REMEMBERING whilst we navigate the terrain of our limited participation at, and access to, Mass. When we read our gospels, what we have is the ultimate legacy of Jesus’ disciples - after some confusion trying to make sense of the shame of his death, they recalled his teachings and actions, recognised his presence to them, and with the help of their scriptures, they gained their strength and power to face a world that needed to hear of God’s love.
What about the world confronting us? Can we bring that same love to what is proving to be a great challenge?
Crowe suggests: “After two thousand years, it’s our time to remember: Jesus wanted everyone to know that they are cherished by God. He had a vision of a universal loving community and turned to his followers to help him perpetuate it.
He sent them out two by two, he assured them that they could do it; they would, in fact, do greater works than he. He would show them how. He promised he would continue to help them.
It would be very simple, a source of great delight: when two or three of you meet in my name, I am there with you! When two or three of you decide anything at all, my Father in heaven will fulfil it!
The promise is ours. The invitation is ours. The power is in our hands. And we never knew….
We’re at a world-wide crossroads, a universal pause, and emptying out, when we can review our reason for being, recover our values, discern our discrepancies, and take stock of our communal strengths.
This is our time to realise that the church is, in fact, a community of concentric living cells, two or three in his name, with the Lord’s living presence at its core, empowered to carry forward his wish to bring God’s healing love and freedom of spirit to all humankind.”
What is your memory of Jesus that gives you the confidence of his love?
*The words from Rose Marie Crowe come from her article “Eucharist: The Resurrection Gift” published in The Swag, Spring 2020.