The poetic muse left for vacation. Below find a reflection on a book review

by Sr. Juliemarie McDonald on 08/12/2015

in Ordinary Time

Twentieth Sunday of Ordinary Time Cycle-B

 

Teaching as Eucharist

 Take, Thank, Bless, Break, Give 

By Joanmarie Smith

 

Our Baptismal graces drench us in divinity. These graces help us to perform the actions of our priesthood: Take, Thank, Bless, Break, and Give. “Do this in remembrance of me.” When these actions become nurtured and become written in our hearts, we reveal the presence of our Lord. We are ambassadors of the Lord’s presence. When we remember, we make present again.

As members of royal priesthood, others can “take from our human hands the life giving nourishment we are setting before them.” We set the table of their minds and invite them to the feast of Eucharist. We become their teachers. We may not be certified teachers, but none the less we teach by our words and actions. What do we take? We take ancient truths from the scriptures, reflect upon them, make them our own that we may teach others the wisdom words of God. Think about this word take. There are many variations of take: take in, take on, account of and of course very familiar to us—take out.

Eucharist means thanksgiving. We try to live with the attitude of gratitude. One of the first phrases we learn from parents is, “Say thank you.” For what are you thankful? Remembering past and present joys and not forgetting to thank for past sorrows fill our baskets of thanksgiving. Name some of those joys and sorrows from the past, then think about what you have learned and what wisdom you can pass on to the next generation. Some of the things of the past may have been unfair and unjust. What action can you take to make the lives of others less unfair?

The Catechism of the Catholic Church states in (1669) “Every baptized person is called to be a ‘blessing’ and to bless.” When is the last time you blessed a person? (I don’t count the blessing after a sneeze though appropriate.) In some cultures evening blessings are given to families before they go to bed. This might be a ritual you can bring into your homes and when children leave their classrooms to journey home. Being a blessing manifests the presence of God‘s generosity and love. It is the way to claim the gifts of the Holy Spirit.

Breaking of the Bread implies sharing, community and unity.  Our actions need to show our unselfishness. Recall a time when you shared something with another? How did the person respond? How did you feel after you shared? Their might be some bad habits that need to be broken before you become the presence of the Lord to others. Perhaps you need to give others a break. When is the last time you took a break yourself to refuel charity in your life?

Jesus offers to give his body and blood as living food for his followers. He leaves it up to each person to take and receive. Some do and some don’t. This is the beauty of the free will gifted to us. As Eucharist for others, we must also remember a person’s free will and the decisions he or she makes. We become as powerless as Jesus in these moments of “no thank you.” Each of us, as teachers, has a unique and creative way to get a lesson across to whomever we try to teach. Use your individual talents and don’t try to mimic others in your giving.

The final quote of Joanmarie Smith from Matthew Fox reads: “Our lives cannot be Eucharistic, therefore, if we are not actively promoting justice, “the structured struggle to share the good God’s earth.”

O, God of the Universe, thank you for making us Hosts and Hostesses of Eucharist.

For Reflection and Sharing:

  1. What new insight did you gain from the book review?
  2. What are the ways you make the presence of God known in today’s world?
  3. How do you react when you try to give to someone who refuses to take?
  4. Who do you bless in your nightly prayer ritual?
  5. What nourishment do you give to others when you are the Host or Hostess of God’s presence?
  6. Where do you find injustices in your Baptismal priesthood?
  7. What can you do about these injustices?

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