5th Reflection on Eucharistic Prayers: Called to Engage

“The Eucharist: The Gift That Keeps on Giving … and giving, and giving.”

By Fr. Ron Will, CPPS

You have joined the fifth in a series of videos on the Eucharistic prayers which we pray during Mass. This series is entitled “The Eucharist: The Gift that keeps on giving, and giving, and giving.”

Pope Francis wrote: “We may not even be aware of it, but every time we go to Mass, the first reason is that we are drawn there by Christ’s desire for us. Indeed, every reception of communion of the Body and Blood of Christ was already desired by him in the Last Supper.”

Jesus is longing to come to you. He’s longing to come close to you, to be one with you. Think about that the next time you approach the altar to receive Communion. Jesus is desiring you because he loves you.

Remember that there are 13 different Eucharistic Prayers from which the presider at Mass may choose.

Today’s session is being recorded for broadcast during the month of May. This is a traditional month for the celebration of First Communions and Masses for the closing of the school year. Those might be occasions where you will hear one of the three Eucharistic Prayers for Masses with Children. So today I am going to look at the Eucharistic Prayer for Masses with Children – II.

You will notice that Masses with Children invite more acclamations sung or recited by the children during the Eucharistic Prayer, because it keeps them engaged in the thoughts proclaimed by the Presider. The children are invited to verbally participate more frequently, not just be passive or daydream about other things than the words of the Mass.

The purpose of the Eucharistic Prayer is not simply a devotional prayer honoring God. But to personally encounter God during that Prayer.

When we do, we experience a real change in our lives, and it gives us the strength and power to follow the Lord.

Pope Benedict XVI reminded us that being a Christian is not the result of an ethical choice or a lofty idea, but the encounter with an event, a person, which gives life a new horizon and a decisive direction. When I encounter Jesus, my whole life opens up in a new way, and suddenly, I have a different way of seeing, and I’m headed in a new direction, toward a new horizon.

How can this Eucharistic Prayer help, children especially, encounter God?

Let’s pay attention to the words and how they can help us encounter God.

I hope that my reflections today will make you more attentive to the Eucharistic Prayer at the next Mass you attend, which ever Eucharistic Prayer is used. Start really listening to the readings and the prayers, and the pieces of the puzzle of the Mass will come together. You will only then begin to see the incredible vision God has for our lives, for His Church, and for the world.

Thank you for joining me today.

I invite you to join me again next month, as I continue this series on “The Eucharist: The Gift that just keeps on giving, and giving, and giving.” We will then reflect on another one of the 13 Eucharistic Prayers that may be used during Mass.

All of the videos in this series can be found here: Reflections on the Eucharistic Prayers.

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[Fr. Ron Will, a Precious Blood priest and spiritual director, is a graduate of Catholic Theological Union and Creighton University’s School of Christian Spirituality. He has a special interest in helping form intentional disciples of Jesus, encouraging others to go spiritually deep-sea diving to explore a deeper relationship with God, and walking with people as they dive into the ocean of God’s mystery actually experiencing God rather than simply dipping one’s toe into the water.]

Photo 25166444 | Children Mass © Sebastian Czapnik | Dreamstime.com

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