How to switch off your autopilot at Mass, part two

Allow the Eucharist to make you more thankful. John, father of one, sees the repeated nature of the Eucharist as valuable because it continually brings him back to his core beliefs. “Reflecting on the sacrifice of Jesus makes my burdens lighter and more meaningful. Being with a community that shares my faith and values reinvigorates and strengthens me so I feel ready and able to face my life’s own trials,” he says.

The Eucharist is a challenge to live as a community. The lines of people waiting to receive Eucharist can be a reminder that Eucharist is a sacrament about community. Anne, a junior high religion teacher, appreciates the commonality that the Eucharist establishes. “If all are welcome at the table, and all are sent forth to be the real presence in the world, then it is incumbent upon all who break bread to be broken open in relationship,” she says. “The Eucharist invites us to embrace the challenge of our obligations to the rest of the community—the next door neighbor, biological and chosen family, the marginalized in the city, the voiceless in the world.”

Anne says the Eucharist reminds her of the Chinese concept of guanxi—a sense of connection, mutual indebtedness, a clear sense of obligation and responsibility that holds up a community. “We are infused with the Holy Spirit to do what needs to be done to meet the mandate, ‘Do this in remembrance of me,’ ” she says.

(Here’s part one of this article if you missed it.)

—by Annemarie Scobey, from the pages of At Home with Our Faith, Claretian Publications’ print newsletter for parents on nurturing spirituality in the home. Winner of the 2012 Best in Class award from the Associated Church Press, as well as a First Place General Excellence award from the Catholic Press Association for the past three years running. Here’s a sample issue.

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