So there we have it!!
Jesus told us to do this in memory of Him
We are not just repeating His actions and words
We are not just remembering what Jesus did
We are PARTICIPATING IN HIS ACTIONS
THIS IS SO INCREDIBLY CRITICAL!!
This started from the VERY VERY BEGINNING
Paragraph 1342 says, “They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers…”
This is the marker of those disciples of Jesus
From the very beginning the disciples of Jesus devoted their LIVES to these four things
Fellowship of the communal life
Breaking of bread
These are four markers of what it is to be a Christian from the VERY BEGINNING
So what are the Apostles teaching?
THAT IS WHAT WE HAVE BEEN DOING THIS YEAR!!
We have been focusing on THE APOSTLES’ TEACHING
What is the fellowship or the communal life?
They have been taking care of each other and the people around them who are in need-widows, orphans, etc.
THAT IS OUR CALL AS CHRISTIANS TOO!!
We are called to take care of those around us in need
SEE A NEED FILL A NEED!!
That is what it is to be a Christian
What is the breaking of the bread?
THAT IS CODE FOR THE EUCHARIST!!
FROM THE VERY BEGINNING!!
THIS IS SO CRITICAL THAT WE UNDERSTAND THIS!!
From the very beginning, breaking the bread WAS NOT JUST HAVING A MEAL
IT IS THE EUCHARIST!!
And lastly we have the prayer life
These are the markers of EVERY PERSON who is called to be a disciple of Jesus
We are called to devote ourselves to the Apostles’ teaching
THE TEACHING OF THE CHURCH!!
We are called to the communal life, taking care of those around us-our families, our parish, those who are in need
We are called to the breaking of the bread
And the prayer life
THEY DEVOTED THEMSELVES TO THESE THINGS!!
Being a Christian is not simply being part of a club
It’s not our “Tuesday group”
It is not our “Sunday group”
Being a Christian means we DEVOTE OUR LIVES TO THESE FOUR THINGS
IT IS SO SO IMPORTANT!!
WE DO THIS UNTIL THE LORD COMES!!
This is important because people wonder why we have Mass on Sunday when the Sabbath is Saturday
How did that shift?
We talked about this before
The ONLY reason is because JESUS ROSE FROM THE DEAD ON SUNDAY!!
THIS IS THE LORD’S DAY!!
This is His day that He triumphed over the grave and appeared to His apostles
THIS IS SO CRITICAL!!
We celebrate the first day of the week, Sunday, the day of the Lord’s Resurrection
That’s when Christians will meet to participate in the Eucharist
This extended quote from St. Justin Martyr is invaluable
In the year 155 he describes the Mass that we have all been to
People sometimes think the Mass is a medieval invention
Or that it has been twisted over time
THe reality is that in every one of the rites of the Catholic Church, they follow the SAME STRUCTURE that St. Justin is describing FROM THE VERY VERY BEGINNING
He goes on to describe what we believe when it comes to the Eucharist
St. Justin Martyr’s first apology says, “This food we call the Eucharist, of which no one is allowed to partake except the one who believes that the things we teach are true, and has received the washing for forgiveness of sins and for rebirth, and who lives as Christ handed down to us, for we do not receive these things as common bread or common drink. But as Jesus Christ our Savior, being incarnate by God’s Word, took flesh and blood for our salvation, so also we have been taught that the food consecrated by the words of prayer, which comes from him, from which our flesh and blood are nourished by transformation, is the flesh and blood of that incarnate Jesus.”
Justin Martyr is giving us the structure of the Mass
So we have EVIDENCE that this is the Tradition of the Church given FROM THE VERY BEGINNING
Go read that long quote again…
Some people think that we offer the Eucharist to anyone who wants it as an expression of solidarity and hospitality
Obviously, God’s gift of salvation and Himself is for anyone who asks
From the very beginning, there have always been some CONDITIONS
There has to be INITIATION
You have to BELIEVE what we have been believing
We have to be UNITED
Yes, Jesus Christ died for ALL
He has given his Eucharist Himself for ALL
We do not believe that this is just ordinary food
We believe that THIS IS TRULY THE FLESH AND BLOOD OF THAT INCARNATE JESUS
So if someone does not believe that or if they are not united to the Church or not living as Christ taught us…
For them to receive the body and blood of Christ is to be in danger of receiving condemnation on themselves
This is what St. Paul writes in his Letter to the Corinthians
It is not cruel for the Church to say that you have to be in union with the Church to receive Holy Communion
That goes all the way back to 155 AD
IT IS NOT CRUEL!!
IT IS NOT EXCESSIVE!!
IT IS AN ACT OF LOVE!!
We do not receive these things as common bread or common drink (No grape juice here!! 😉)
AS JESUS CHRIST OUR SAVIOR!!
Being Incarnate by God’s Word, took flesh and blood for our salvation
Go read the quote again because I’m not typing it all out again 🔼 🔼 🔼
WHAT A GIFT!!
We have the two parts of the one Liturgy
The Liturgy of the Word, where we have the gathering, the proclamation of God’s Word, intercessions, and then the Liturgy of the Eucharist where we bring the bread and wine
And we have the consecration and Holy Communion
Those two parts of the Liturgy form ONE SINGLE LITURGY
ONE SINGLE ACT OF WORSHIP
That’s what we get to participate in all the time
At the end of the Gospel of Luke, they have the disciples on the road to Emmaus
They are downcast
This is the first day of the week, Easter Sunday
Cleopas and his companion are walking 7 miles from Jerusalem to Emmaus
Jesus appears to them, although they don’t recognize Him
He says, “What are you talking about?”
They say, “Don’t you know the things that happened to Jesus the Nazarene? We had hoped that he would be the one to redeem Israel.”
Then Jesus points out, “Did you not know the Messiah had to suffer all these things to enter into his glory?”
And then beginning with Moses and all the prophets, He revealed to them all that spoke of him in the Scriptures
THAT IS THE LITURGY OF THE WORD!!
The proclamation of the Word
They get to where they were going and they invite Him inside
Then He takes bread, blesses it, and breaks it
THEIR EYES ARE OPEN NOW!!
They recognize Him in the BREAKING OF THE BREAD
THAT IS THE LITURGY OF THE EUCHARIST!!
So on the Road to Emmaus, you have the Liturgy of the Word AND the Liturgy of the Eucharist
We have made it halfway!! (my fingers hurt a lot)
Fr. Mike is praying FOR YOU!!
Please pray for Fr. Mike and for each other!!
I cannot WAIT to see you tomorrow!!