by Sister Annette Koss
How often do we think that when we are seated at table, Jesus is seated with us? I realize that grace before meals is not a pre-meal ritual, but an experience of relationships. I give thanks for the food, but even more, the conversation, the grace of the exchange of reverence and love. It's a challenge to sit down and eat together; and often more of a challenge to have a conversation.
A meal is a conversation over food, and the Mass is a spiritual conversation over spiritual food; prayers, readings, songs, Sacred Bread and Wine.
This is a call to reconciliation, to come together again. With the words, "Body of Christ," I take in His whole life, suffering and death. When I hear the words, "Blood of Christ," I take the cup of joy and pain. Like "thank you" at meals, my "amen" is my commitment to become the presence of Christ to all I encounter. What I eat becomes part of me; but with Eucharist, I become part of Who I eat.
So, to receive the Body of Christ is to become the Body of Christ to share the Body of Christ.
chapter 18, US Catholic Catechism for Adults
by Sister Mary Kabat
Though we received the new life of Christ in Baptism, we are human and weak and often choose sin along the journey of life. How blessed we are to have a God who constantly reaches out to reconcile us to himself again and again! Through the Sacrament of Penance also called Reconciliation, our sins are forgiven and our friendship with God is restored.
Throughout the Gospels we read of Jesus' mission to forgive sins and reconcile people to God. Through his forgiveness he brought happiness and peace to many. On Easter night, the Risen Christ gave the Apostles his power to forgive sins. "Whose sins you forgive are forgiven them." So the Church carries on this ministry of forgiveness, being the sign and instrument of God's merciful love. In the Sacrament of Penance/Reconciliation, we admit our sins, have contrition for them and receive forgiveness. We are reconciled to God and to others. We go forth to have the same compassion and forgiveness for others as God has for us.
Thank you for this reflection and sharing. It is what I needed to hear today. If you don't mind, I'd like to share it at a meeting on Sunday. God Bless!
Thank you. I'll think of your words when I pray my meal prayers.