Bread…wine…the work of our hands and hearts…wheat husked and threshed, grapes smashed and stomped upon, the fruit of the earth shared with all of humanity, blessed, broken, shared and gathered…Jesus said, “Take and eat this is My Body, take and drink, this is My Blood. Whenever you do this remember me.” The Liturgy of the Eucharist our prayer of Thanksgiving! Pause to reflect upon our daily lives as parents, are we not bread, broken, scattered, shared, gathered, made whole? We become what we believe…eucharist in the many sacrifices that we make for children, our families, our spouses…
Our February 23 lesson was actually quite simple as we entered into the Liturgy of the Eucharist. The first part of class, we role-played some of the parts of the Liturgy of the Eucharist. This activity enabled them to develop a greater familiarity with the prayers we pray at Mass, “Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God of Hosts, heaven and earth are filled with your glory, Hosanna in the Highest,” “Lamb of God,” and the “Our Father.”
We used the Mass booklet for children, Celebrating Eucharist published by Twenty-Third Publications A few of the children wanted to take the book home and use it at Mass. Since we only have one classroom set I recommend that you check with your child, and if there is a real interest the book can be ordered on-line. You, are the best worship aid for your child, and during this time of preparing for first Communion, the children are very receptive to learn more about the Mass.
For the second part of class the children gave expression to the Eucharistic prayer. Their prompt spoke to the heart of the lesson, “Dear Jesus, you are present to us in Bread and Wine. You are also present. . .” The prayerful activity provided them the space to enter into communion with one another as they illustrated their posters of where they encounter Jesus. Do any of their responses surprise you?
“Jesus is present in my Mom and Dad, family, when praying, in the graveyard (RIP), in nature, with your pets (if you have a pet), in school, everywhere, in my heart, in Baptism, when you’re learning, when you’re getting married, all over the world, in the Spirit, the community, in heaven and on earth, all around us, when we say we are sorry, all the time, at SCORE, in the classroom, Jesus is everywhere.”
The next time you gather around the dinner table, share as a family how Jesus is present to you. Let your religious imagination soar as you join in communion of how heaven and earth are filled with the glory of God.
May our lives proclaim the glory of God.