This week we Lecito the Liturgy with the Prayer after Communion for the 17th Sunday in Ordinary Time.
We have consumed, O Lord, this divine Sacrament, the perpetual memorial of the Passion of your Son; grant, we pray, that this gift, which he himself gave us with love beyond all telling, may profit us for salvation. Through Christ our Lord.
What does this prayer have to teach us? We learn that humility matters because a humble heart receives great gifts.
The divine Sacrament, the Eucharist, is easy to take for granted, however the Prayer after Communion gives us much to think about when it comes our partaking of the Mass. The prayer tells us that this gift is divine, it comes from God. As the perpetual memorial, it is the unending and uninterrupted sign of the Passion, Death and Resurrection of Jesus, whose risen glorified body is the bread and wine that we receive.
Also in the prayer, we ask that this gift may profit us for salvation. In the Latin form of the prayer, for the word salvation, we find salutem. It’s definition includes preservation and soundness.
The gift is given to us with love beyond all telling. Caritas is the word used for love in the Latin form of the prayer. This is the love that God has for us. When someone is filled with this love, they give themselves to others without attachment or pretensions. It is the love that Jesus had for us when he chose to die for us.
This love is beyond all telling, or beyond all words, because this love comes from God who is love and it is the love that is God. It doesn’t come naturally to our human nature. It is a love we can only give away when we experience the depth of the love we have received.
There is one more thing about this divine, perpetual gift of love that goes beyond words - we consume it. We bring it into ourselves. We choose to accept it and when we do, all that is of Christ is opened to us.
However, there is one thing to remember about this gift. God’s love cannot coexist with our sin. Just as Jesus died to take away our sin, we must die to sin. However, if we accept His gift humbly it will root out our sin and lead to deeper and deeper to salvation.
The perfect opportunity to make ourselves aware of this gift of God’s love is during the communion procession. We move forward to receive Christ, who makes us one with himself and with one another. In this simple and brief moment, with a humble and open heart, we become what receive.
Thank you for praying with me,