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Dare to be a Disciple? Yes, please!

June 21, 2014

I was listening to the first talk at the Dare To Be A Disciple retreat this morning (I know, you intended to be here, but something came up…(-: ), and Fr. Eduardo mentioned something important. I thought I’d share it with y’all.

He said that, if we constantly break ourselves open, and empty ourselves out being Eucharist to others, we run the risk of developing something he calls “Eucharistic Fatigue”: we can find ourselves “running on empty”.

The Eucharist, received at Mass weekly (or even daily), is for us our “spiritual filling station”: we receive Christ in the Eucharist, and, if we open ourselves to His physical Presence within us, we are “filled with His Holy Spirit”, to “become one Body, one Spirit in Christ” (remember the Eucharistic Prayer that says that?).

If you think we show up at Mass, line up, then stick out our hands (or tongues) just to get a cookie and go sit down…you’re incorrect. That Living Presence of Christ in the Eucharist is our power-up; it’s our spiritual Red Bull; it’s our recharge to go forth and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit” (Matt 28:19).

Y’all, we have work to do. There are people in our lives who need to hear about Jesus! There are people who are flailing about all over the place, trying to find something to fill the gaping, aching hole left in their lives because they don’t know Jesus!

So this weekend, when you receive the Eucharist, consider this: can you become what you receive? Are you receiving something that you can offer to others? Jesus doesn’t want to stay locked up in you: He wants to get out into the world to transform lives!

Remember: when you’re sent from Mass, your destination isn’t supposed to be the couch to watch sports (or “Say Yes To The Dress”). You are sent out to complete the mission the Apostles received from Jesus. So…GO.

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3 Comments
  1. Very good article, Chip. Nicely connecting the reception of the Holy Eucharist at Mass with our mission to go out and spread the Gospel! But a question for you, something I didn’t understand… you quoted the priest saying “if we constantly break ourselves open, and empty ourselves out being Eucharist to others, we run the risk of developing something he calls “Eucharistic Fatigue”: we can find ourselves “running on empty”.” First, what does it mean to “be Eucharist to others”? The word Eucharist means “thanksgiving” (from the Greek), right? And it refers to the consecrated bread and wine we receive at Communion. So, I’m confused by that phrase – How can we be Eucharist to others? And the following reference to “Eucharistic Fatigue” doesn’t make sense to me either. Can you explain what he meant please?

    • Hi, Cathy! Thanks for reading!

      Good questions. First, I think it would be helpful to think about the modes in which we use the word Eucharist. If you think of it only in the sense of the Greek definition, my words above could be confusing. The Greek word “eucharistein”, which recall the Jewish blessings that proclaim -especially during a meal- God’s works (CCC1328) is the origin of our word Eucharist, but it doesn’t really even begin to capture the senses in which we use it.

      The Eucharist *is* the Mass; it *is the Body of Christ; Holy Communion *augments our union with Christ* (CCC 1391); it is nourishment for growth in Christian life (1392). The Eucharist configures us to Christ and His mission.

      And Christ’s mission is not inwardly directed. If the Church only sat still, celebrated the Eucharist, and did *nothing* outside itself to bring others to a full knowledge of Christ and His saving action on the Cross…the Church would fail. It isn’t just about us, and personal piety, and licit and valid celebration of the sacraments according to a precise form; as important as those things are to the life of the Church, they only facilitate the *mission* of the Church, given to us first in Matt 28 (see the Gospel reading from the Solemnity of the Ascension), and given again at the end of every Mass by the deacon or priest: “Ite, missa est” (Go, you are sent!). Sent to do what? To be Christ’s presence in the world!

      Go back to my quote. That’s what it means to be a Eucharistic people. That’s whT it means to need nourishment. One cannot give what one does not have; the Eucharist gives it to us.

      Does that help?

  2. Yes, yes, I agree with all you said above. I think maybe the quote from Father, out of context, just didn’t make sense. But I agree — The Holy Eucharist, which we receive at the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, is our spiritual nourishment. It gives us the grace to go out into the world and live out our vocations, as God has called us to do. It gives us the grace to spread His Gospel, to “Go out and teach all nations” (remembering that from the old days of the Evangelization Team at St. Ann’s!). But there are those who cannot “go out” in the same way to bring others to Christ and His Church. Maybe their mission is a mission of prayer and sacrifice. But it is still a mission that Christ calls many to fulfill! We must all reflect the love of Christ to others. And as you said, we can’t very well do that without the Eucharist. Well said.
    Oh, just one final little comment…. “Ite, missa est” is technically translated “Go, it is the dismissal”. That from my Latin learning student daughter! 🙂
    God bless,
    Cathy

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