This past Sunday I had the honor of visiting with Bishop Tobias and Subdeacon Matt. They came in to visit and to participate in the celebration of the Eucharist.
Which started me thinking about why we call it Celebrating the Mass or Eucharist. Far too often I see priest on Facebook refer to Mass as they are going to say Mass or they are doing the liturgy. However, this great gift from God through His Son Jesus, is a celebration!
Heaven and earth merge in this very moment. Christ is made present on the altar in the form of bread and wine. These elements loose their nature of bread and wine and they transform into the Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of Jesus Christ. A doorway into heaven opens and the opportunity to stand on the threshold of eternity offers itself to us.
Many people do not believe in the presence of Christ in the Eucharist. However, the church has taught this for centuries:
For not as common bread nor common drink do we receive these; but since Jesus Christ our Savior was made incarnate by the word of God and had both flesh and blood for our salvation, so too, as we have been taught, the food which has been made into the Eucharist by the Eucharistic prayer set down by him, and by the change of which our blood and flesh is nurtured, is both the flesh and the blood of that incarnated Jesus” -Saint Justin Martyr, Father of the Church (First Apology 66 [A.D. 151]).
Many people view coming to Mass as a chore. Some think of it as an obligation they have to do. Instead, we need to refocus our attention to the celebration of the great mystery that is the Eucharist. Christ calls us all to this celebration. We are all welcomed to partake in this great gift of the Eucharist.
So when you come to Mass this Sunday, and I hope you will, come to celebrate this great gift. Come to receive the gift of the divine. And when we depart, we should take this celebration, this gift of light and love, into the world in which we live.
Will you join us for this celebration Sunday?