Big Catholic Words
Eucharist, Communion, Reconciliation: What is it with Catholics and big words? This week we will be celebrating First Reconciliation and First Eucharist, or as it was known when I was a child, First Communion. Why do we use such big words and what do they mean? We use such words because we are trying to capture a great mystery in our human language: that God wants to be present to us, supporting and helping us to live deep and fruitful lives. We struggle to get our heads around this so we have been given the Sacraments, ritual actions and words, that offer us the mystery in way we may be able to understand. So what do these big words mean?
Communion: We feel communion with people close to us and with whom we feel at ease having a common bond. By offering himself to us under the form of bread and wine, Jesus is telling us how much he wants to be part of our daily lives, sustaining us with himself.
Eucharist: This is another word for Communion and comes from the Greek word for Thanksgiving. In receiving the Eucharist we affirm our thanks and praise to God, for having Jesus come to live with us in our lives.
Reconciliation: We not only recognise that relationships can break down, but also that they can be healed. But sometimes we feel to power to heal is beyond us. In all these situations God wants to be with us strengthening, healing and helping us. First, we need to recognise our sin and failure and ask God’s forgiveness and help.
The sacraments when celebrated can seem to be made up of simple words and gestures but what is important is to realise is being conveyed: God is with us at all times and wants to give us the fullness of life and love.
Loving God, Jesus used words and actions to reveal the mystery of your love. Send us your Spirit that we may enter into the mystery of this love when we celebrate the sacraments. We ask this in Jesus’ name confident that you will hear us.
Sr Kym Harris osb