January 31st

As we continue to look at the first Eucharistic Prayer, we come to a prayer which asks that God look favorably upon the gifts that we are offering and to accept them. We ask God to accept them just as He accepted other gifts that Scripture tells us that God was pleased to accept: that of Abel, of Abraham, and of Melchizedek. Another reason that these three Old Testament sacrifices are mentioned is because they foreshadowed the Sacrifice that Jesus would make of Himself upon Calvary.

The next prayer is rather mysterious: the priest asks that an Angel take the sacrifice to the altar that is in Heaven. This prayer reminds us that in Heaven all the Angels and Saints ceaselessly adore and worship God; our earthly liturgy is a participation in that Heavenly worship.

The priest then prays that we may be filled with every grace and blessing as we receive the Body and Blood of Christ from this altar. When we receive the Body and Blood of the Lord we receive “every grace” because we receive the Author of all grace. The priest makes the Sign of the Cross at this point to remind Himself that all grace comes through Christ, Who died upon the Cross in order that we may share in His divine life.

“Grace” can be difficult to comprehend: we talk about ‘grace’ in many different ways. Fundamentally, ‘grace’ is a participation in the very life of God. When we say that we are in a “state of grace” we mean that we are not in mortal sin, we mean that we continue to have that divine life, which we received at Baptism, within us.

It can be easy to think of grace as a thing, but grace is not a thing: it is a relationship. When we say that we share in the divine life of God, we really mean that we are in relationship with Him. When we are in a state of grace, He dwells within us. Could there be a more intimate relationship? God loves each one of us so much, He wants to be united to us; and He is communicates Himself to us ever more fully each time we receive Him in the Most Holy Eucharist.

God bless,
Father White

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