One of the opportunities that the coronavirus pandemic has blessed us with is the ability to participate in faith formation courses.
From March 2022, Coryal parish priest Fr Stephan Alexander began offering an adult faith formation course in my parish. The title of the course was ‘The Mystery of the Eucharist in the Life of the Church’ by US Bishop Andrew Cozzens. The course is offered through Revive Parishes, a virtual platform that provides resources to assist parish leaders in their spiritual growth and renewal of their parishes.
On two Mondays monthly, Fr Stephan hosts informative sessions from 6.30 p.m. through Google Meet. Parishioners have taken the opportunity to pursue this course as they attempt to learn more about their faith and grow on their spiritual journeys.
On May 23, Fr Stephan hosted a session in which he shared material about our response to the Eucharist. Fr Stephan stated, “Our response to this gift which is the Eucharist is thanksgiving and worship. The gift of Christ Himself necessitates our response when we receive this great gift of Christ’s Body and Blood.”
Fr Stephan then shared a video titled ‘Our Response –Thanksgiving and Worship’ in which Bishop Cozzens gave a thorough explanation. What should our response be to the gift of the Eucharist?
According to Bishop Cozzens, “It should be learning to participate actively, fully, consciously in the Mass by learning to make an offering of our lives. The Mass we celebrate is worthy of the dignity of the sacrament. Spending time in Adoration would allow us to enter more deeply into the mystery of Christ’s love for us. It should mean that it brings forth a transformation in us.”
Reflecting on the video, Fr Stephan expressed: “It is our belief that prepares us to understand that Christ is there, and that belief should influence our lives. Then, we live for Christ and in accordance with Christ’s teaching. This thanksgiving and worship show that our lives are being directed to God, so we ourselves become transformed in Christ. We are being enabled to live a new law of love through our receiving of Jesus in the Eucharist.”
Fr Stephan encouraged parishioners to attempt the journal and discussion questions provided in the course guide. They were also reminded that they could either post their questions or comments in the WhatsApp group chat or email him directly.
Parishioners are looking forward to the next session which will be about ‘Our Transformation – The Eucharist is a Mystery to be Lived’.
Previous sessions were based on: ‘The Gift of the Eucharist’, ‘The Eucharist as Sacrifice’, ‘The Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist’ and ‘Holy Communion’.
—Ottrisha Carter, Coryal