Many a time have I heard this prayer during the Eucharistic celebration: “humbly we pray that, partaking of the Body and Blood of Christ, we may be gathered into one by the Holy Spirit”, but only now do I understand its deeper meaning. The liturgy transforms us into one body. In the Eucharistic prayer we pray “so that we become one”. This is the most important fruit for me from the mini-course on the liturgy that took place here in the novitiate a few days ago.
Increasingly, however, we are witnessing the departure of young people – and not-so-young people – from ecclesial liturgies, in Italy as well as throughout the Western world. If one does not experience the Risen Christ, the liturgy can hardly communicate anything of the spiritual life expressed in it.
Without a personal relationship with Jesus, in fact, one can not participate in the liturgy without experiencing in it a vague exteriority and a uselessness for one’s own lived experience of spirituality or otherwise. The liturgy is to live the mystery of salvation, it is to participate in the mystery of the Incarnation and Resurrection of Jesus, Our Lord.
The liturgy, therefore, is to be lived. Believers draw life from the liturgy they celebrate. It is an experience that changes us. In it we live the experience of the beauty of forgiveness invoked, of the Word of God heard, of the action of grace, of the Eucharist received as communion.
God offers himself for us in the liturgy. It is the most beautiful gift we receive. And it makes us one, it transforms us into a community reconciled with our Creator. In fact, the Christian is never an individualist. The Christian is church, enters a community. This is what we ask unceasingly of the Father, to be transformed, to become one body, to be in communion with Christ, with the earthly Church, with the heavenly Church, with the Pope and with our bishops. This is the fulcrum of every Eucharistic celebration.