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Examining the link between the Eucharist and Scripture

‘Eucharist and Scripture’ is the title of a ten-part weekly series organised by the Archdiocesan Family Life Commission (AFLC) examining the roots of Catholic liturgical worship.

The virtual series began Wednesday, June 10, the day before the Solemnity of Corpus Christi. It has continued every Tuesday from 7 to 9 p.m. since then and is part of the AFLC’s effort to strengthening the domestic Church. The final session is July 28.

AFLC Spiritual Director and Theological Adviser, Fr Matthew Ragbir, is the facilitator. Presentations are based on Eucharist: Discovering the Mass in the Bible by Brant Pitre.

The series explains ancient Jewish practices and beliefs that lie at the roots of the present-day Catholic Mass.

Currently there are 90 persons participating from various parishes—Toco/Matelot, Sangre Grande, Santa Rosa/Malabar, Petit Valley, Pt Fortin, Erin, Maracas, St Joseph, Carenage, Chaguanas, Curepe, Tunapuna, Manzanilla and San Fernando.

To register, email familylife@catholictt.org or call/WhatsApp 299-1047.

Here is some feedback from participants.

Session 1 – June 10

  • Being raised Catholic I have a tendency to be complacent about Eucharist. It is seldom received with that open-eye wonder of someone who has a ‘wow’ or ‘aha’ moment. I need these types of sharing to remind me of what we have to be so grateful for as Catholics.
  • Very fruitful. Clarified some of the former teachings on the Eucharist and revealed new information. The whole idea of the original sin being linked to the act of food, and redemption therefore being linked to that same action was new for me. I always thought of it as disobedience but now the link to manna in the desert takes on a whole new intonation and the devil’s first temptation of Christ with respect to ‘bread’ and the link to Eucharist and Jesus who was to be broken and eaten as bread of life and Medicine of Immortality and Antidote of Sin etc, takes on a whole new depth of meaning. Lots of food for thought and aha moments.
  • As children we were taught that the Bible is the greatest story ever told and read it as a storybook. What struck me the most was the reference and connection of the word ‘eat’ in the Garden of Eden and the Eucharist. That the story of salvation began with an act of eating. His delivery was awesome, and he held my attention throughout.

Session 2 – June 16

  • This session reminded me of the great trust that Abraham had in God that he was willing to sacrifice his son Isaac and Isaac being obedient to his father—the foreshadowing of Christ’ sacrifice for us. It reveals God’s great plan for humankind from the beginning of time.
  • Thank you for this session on the Eucharist. The Old Testament references brought new insights. Isaac as a willing self-sacrifice prefigured Christ as priest and victim. Abel’s gift was his first fruit, his best because he not only loved God, but he trusted God to provide for his needs after that first harvest. I have to reevaluate the depth of my self-giving at Mass.
  • The line “the sacrifice is not foremost in the shedding of the blood it is the offering” is beautiful. Sacrifice is love and that’s us offering ourselves at Mass. Offertory is important as we prepare to give ourselves to God in thanksgiving for all that He has given us whether it’s ugly or beautiful meaning suffering or joy. We are to participate with focus on giving ourselves in thanksgiving to transform our gifts to Him. That’s such an honour to give oneself joining Heaven and Earth.

Session 3 – June 23

  • Water and blood flowing from the rock struck once, and Jesus lanced once, blood and water flowing from His side, remembered in the mixing of wine with water in the Eucharistic celebration. The rich symbolism that is water in the Bible. But also, that there are consequences to actions. God disciplines as a parent disciplines. Often, we think of God of the New Covenant—a merciful, forgiving God but God keeps promises and His word cautions us to be careful to listen and obey what He tells us to do. Keep the focus on God not on us. Also makes it easier to understand the deep revulsion the educated Jews would have felt for the claims made by the carpenter’s son with their study of the Torah etc. It is easy to see how Jesus’ claiming to be “the bread sent down from Heaven”, and “Living water”, “Son of God”, would have been highly offensive.
  • From an overall perspective I am amazed at how the intricate plans of God were woven into their daily lives, actions, and experiences. Each moment is so full of God’s meaning and purpose. My life too is filled with meaning and purpose and God’s plan is woven into each of my moments.