Often more than meets the eye!? Take todays Feast of the Body and Blood of Christ.
In our contemporary way of styling the feast we have moved from the older (and Latin) expression Corpus Christi which focussed on the Body of Christ when in fact the feast is about the Holy Sacrifice of Christ in his Body and Blood.? It is also known by the central motivation of Jesus in making his sacrifice ?thanksgiving- using a word derived from the Greek, Eucharist.
When we focus on the context of this wondrous gift we sometimes refer to The Lords Supper.?? Whereas when we think of the intimate union which it brings about we talk about Holy Communion.
Another word of Greek origin is sometimes used (more perhaps in the context of historical theology), Sacred Synaxis.? This refers to the coming together of the faithful to celebrate the Lords gift of redemption through the Holy Sacrifice.
A title for todays feast which comes from the New Testament itself is The Breaking of the Bread, a name which evokes the Emmaus experience of the two disciples on the first Easter Sunday.
Back to the Greek and we learn yet another name, Anamnesis, which means a special kind of memory which makes the remembered really present: it is a way of describing the central mystery of Christs Passover in the Eucharist.
Of course the best known and most used name is The Mass, a name which comes from the last word of the celebrant, Missa est ([the Congregation] is sent)
No name can adequately describe and certainly not explain this central mystery of Christ with us in his dying and rising.? But by noticing some of the ways by which the church refers to this mystery perhaps we catch a hint of the depth of Gods love in giving us so great a gift.
Many thanks today to all the Extraordinary Ministers of the Eucharist who serve the Lords table so respectfully all year round.
Fr Sean Wales,C.Ss.R .