The Offering of the Eucharist
“Blessed are you, Lord, God of all creation. Through your goodness we have this bread (wine) to offer, which earth has given and human hands have made. It will become for us the bread of life (our spiritual drink).” This is the prayer the priest offers on behalf of all those gathered as he offers the bread and wine during the offertory.
In a way, our participation at Mass becomes a sharing of God’s divine gifts through Christ as expressed by the prayer of the priest as he mixes a little amount of water with the wine: “By the mystery of this water and wine, may we come to share in the divinity of Christ who humbled himself to share in our humanity.”
The offering of bread and wine is an offering of our entire selves. Bread and wine are not natural symbols, like water. God does not make bread and wine. Human beings do. Animals do not prepare bread and wine. Bread and wine represents our human work and all that we are. When we offer that bread and the wine as well as our own respective monetary contributions/offerings during the offertory, we symbolically offer all that we do and all that we are.
The Eucharist as communion is expressed in our actual sharing of the one bread and the one cup. Sharing one bread and one cup, just as Jesus did during the Last Supper and God’s people in the past, tells our story as a people. The language of eating together at Mass is the language of Christ’s love and redemption. Breaking bread is the breaking of Himself for all of us. The Eucharist transforms us into bread broken for others. At every Mass, we request Christ to transform us into himself: bread broken for others.
This weekend our young candidates for First Communion also join our congregation in the Eucharistic banquet of Christ’s love and sacrifice. As a Christian community, we are mandated with the challenge of showing our younger members the way of sharing our lives just as Christ has shared and sacrificed His own life for all of us.