Monday, September 12, 2016

What happened to the Supper?

Looking at our current way of celebrating mass, it looks not at all like a meal. What happened? In short you can blame St. Paul and the people in Corinth. 

In our first reading today you can hear St. Paul chastising the people of Corinth for what was going on when they would gather.

in eating, each one goes ahead with his own supper, and one goes hungry while another gets drunk.
Do you not have houses in which you can eat and drink? Or do you show contempt for the Church of God and make those who have nothing feel ashamed?

And so it was that the early Church in her wisdom stripped the Liturgy of the Eucharist down to its essential elements, removing those parts which could easily be abused. In the Latin Rite in particular we still strive to maintain "noble simplicity."

Is it exciting? No. Is it entertaining? No. It's purpose is not to excite or entertain. The purpose is to worship God, not ourselves. 

The other day I heard someone on television speak of those "who had left institutional religion, because the institution no longer served them." My first thought was, "Isn't that backwards? I thought we were supposed to serve not to be served." St. Paul in his usually terse fashion tells the people, if they want to socialize they can do that at home. 

Any person who says about mass, "I don't get anything out of it", makes two fundamental errors. Firstly, it is not about getting but giving, giving worship with the body of Christ to God. 
Secondly, and more importantly, if we think we get nothing, then clearly we do not understand the concept of GRACE. 

Perhaps that is where our reflection for today should take us. How well do I appreciate the grace that I receive each time I receive the body and blood of Christ?