(A) : THE COMMUNION RITE
Our Christian Prayers are oriented towards assimilating more and more, the Spirit of Christ, till we slowly bear more and more the Image of Christ..and we become Alter Christu – another Christ!
In this transformation, we seek to imitate Christ in all things. Christ, when he lived on earth, formed a filial and affectionate relationship with His Father, and invited us to experience the same bond. Giving heed to this call, we begin the Immediate Preparation for Communion, in the Liturgy, with the recital of the Our Father- the model of all prayers.
The Our Father leads into the exchange of peace. The prayer that we prayed in the Our Father…”forgive us…..as we forgive those who trespass against us”, is symbolically actualized in our exchanging of the peace with our neighbours.
The Priest then breaks the Blessed Host, signifying the broken body of Christ. Meanwhile the Lamb of God is recited, proclaiming, Jesus as the Sacrificial Lamb who takes away our sins.
A small piece of the host is mingled with the Sacred Wine signifying the unity of the Body and Blood of the Lord, and also the Unity of the Body of Christ, the Church.
The Lord is then presented as the Lamb of God who takes away the Sin of the World and we are invited to this Sacred Feast. We express our unworthiness to Receive the Most Holy of Holies.
These are precious and sacred moments as we make an immediate preparation for the majestic entry of the Lord into our hearts….
Do I Recite the Our Father, slowly, devoutly and meaningfully?
Do I really seek to do His Will in my life….pray for His Kingdom to come…forgive the trespasses of others?
Does the exchange of sign of peace, really symbolise that I have forgiven ALL people in my life?
Do I prepare earnestly, while reciting the Lamb of God, to be prepared to receive the Sacred Body of Christ?
Jesus, the Lamb of God, Our Saviour, help us to also acclaim, God as our Father and experience His filial affection. Help us as we prepare our hearts to receive You, that we may truly cleanse our hearts from all stains. May your grace which makes us worthy to receive you, constantly increase our longing and desire to be united with you forever, Amen!
(B): THE HOLY COMMUNION
Silence. Tranquillity. Peace. Serenity. Calm. Ecstasy. Bliss. Union. Delight. Relaxation. Quietness.
Hmmmmm.. We are not enlisting a family of synonyms.. Rather, we are entering the most blessed moments of the Liturgy…. when the Lord enters into our hearts, as His own Body and Blood….and we are given an opportunity to experience all those above-mentioned emotions and sentiments and much more…
Heaven is a grand experience of joy and bliss and harmonious acclamations….
… but there comes a split moment
… when heaven stands still
… the Angels rejoice in silence
… Blessed Mamma contemplates in beauty
… the Saints gaze in happiness
… Its the moment of Divine Silence and Serenity
… when……the Body and Blood of Jesus is received in the Holy Communion!
A moment when heaven touches the earth…when the Divine lowers itself to embrace the fallen Humanity, to raise it up to Divine status…
These are blessed and divine moments.
The Holy Communion is a Graceful time. Am I able to calm my external disturbances, and really focus and give my full attention to the Lord, who is in me?
He is a jealous God…a passionate lover…a demanding King. He has given Himself wholly. Can I also not spend meaningful moments with Him, in this Divine Exchange?
The time of Communion sometimes gets distracting because of some external factors of people lining up, benches or chairs being moved, choir and mike settings, bad selection of hymns or music etc…but besides all these.. Am I just able to focus more on the Jesus, who is present in the Blessed Host… ?
The Lord who is present in me, deserves my highest praise and honour. We may of course, have our mind filled with many concerns, worries, petitions etc….but in the midst of all that, Can I make this time of Communion, a time of inner praise and worship and thanksgiving and adoration?
The Lord says.. BE still and know, that I am God. He is our creator. He is our Saviour. He is our Everything. Nothing in this world happens beyond His knowledge and beyond His power. Yes..everything in life, happens for good… So let’s, make it a time of wonderful praise and adoration…in the sanctuary of our hearts!
Loving Jesus, who make yourself present within me in the Most Holy Eucharist, help me to experience your gentle love and peaceful presence. Give me the grace, to make the time of the Holy Communion, as a sacred time of renewal, transformation , rejuvenation and revitalization. May I grow in your love, that I too may be able to break my body and shed my blood, in service of humanity and Your Kingdom, Amen!
– Fr Jijo Manjackal msfs