Who Are We to Judge?
Eucharist = Thanksgiving
Thanksgiving is celebrated all around the world. In Europe it is usually a religious feast where we give thanks to God for the abundant harvest and ask for his blessing. In Canada and the U.S. it is more than a religious feast. It's a celebration of family. As a Church family, we celebrate a Thanksgiving meal every Sunday when we come together for the Eucharist. The word “Eucharist” comes from the Greek word “thanksgiving”.
Jesus established this family tradition at the Last Supper as a gift to us. It is important to remember this because the Church carries out his command to “do this in memory of me” (Luke 22, 19). Those who look forward to celebrating a family event like Thanksgiving would never dream of skipping it. Why then do so many Catholics feel it is okay to skip Mass?
“For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him might have eternal life” (John 3: 16). Jesus saved us by suffering and dying on the cross.
Where is Jesus?
Jesus gave himself to us and he continues to do so in the Eucharist. In the Mass, Jesus is present not only in the bread we share but in the words of the Gospel. Jesus is present in the Mass in the person of the priest as he consecrates the bread and wine and it becomes the body and blood of Christ. Equally important is the community of believers. Jesus is present in the faithful who gather together to celebrate God’s love.
Each of us is created in God’s image and likeness. When we show kindness to others, we are showing kindness to Jesus. When we come together as a community, we are included in Jesus’ prayer of thanks and praise to God. Mass is a holy encounter with Jesus and each other. It is a Thanksgiving celebration we should never want to skip.