Pointing at the bulletin letter's date (link) at left will display it's title.
May 25, 2008
The Eucharist - The Perfect Gift
Finding the perfect gift for a person we love almost always seems to challenge even the most creative among us. Whether it be a gift for Christmas, a birthday, an anniversary, etc. there is always that most difficult of questions to answer, i.e., “What will I get for this person, what can I give that will show how deeply I feel, how sincere I am, how much I care?” And, almost always, we are faced with the undeniable response, “I have no idea what to give”.
Over the centuries people have responded to these questions by giving something that they themselves were able to make. Gifts that came from one’s personal time and talent were, in effect, a proof of one’s love. Time was and continues to be precious. If we were willing to spend our precious time making or creating a gift for a loved one without receiving anything in return except the joy of the recipient, then proof of love was concluded. Today, people tend to spend a great deal of money buying the biggest and the best for those they love dearly. The reasoning is that when one is willing to forfeit one’s hard earned money, love must be involved in the giving.
Although the above reasoning could be true in some instances, it is not necessary so in all instances. For example, if someone is very talented and has much time to spare, making something with one’s own hands is not necessarily a precious gift. Or, if someone has a great deal of money, spending some for an expensive gift is not necessarily a proof of love. This notion comes across loud and clear in many movies especially around Christmas time.
Down deep, we all know that the most precious and mostperfect gifts are Gifts of Self. As adults, we probably all know this. However, we are not always willing to give of ourselves. We prefer to find less demanding, albeit very precious, gifts in their own right. The gift of self is the best because it is the most demanding from an emotional, psychological and spiritual dimension. It may demand a physical component as well. Save our children and perhaps a spouse, there are not many people for whom we would be willing to give of ourselves to this degree or on a continual basis.
Taking the above into consideration, we can now begin to understand why the Eucharist is such a precious gift. Reflecting on the fact that the Eucharist is the gift of Christ’s self-giving, we must now understand that this was the most perfect gift we could ever receive from God. Of course we must also understand that the Eucharist is not simply a piece of bread that has been blessed by the priest. It is much more than that. When we celebrate the Eucharist we are receiving the continual giving of God to his people. In this celebration we receive God’s love through his eternal Word as well as through his person.
In order to fully appreciate the Gift of the Eucharist we must remember that Christ gave us his body and blood, not only at the Last Supper but on the Cross as well. We celebrate the Eucharist in thanksgiving for this precious gift. In this gift, God not only makes himself available to us, but gives himself up completely for our benefit. In this gift, God comes to humanity in a very intimate and personal dimension. Yes, God must truly love us.
Lorette P. Nault