For a Eucharistic life

Jul 5, 2023 | Monthly Reflection

We pray that Catholics may place the celebration of the Eucharist at the heart of their lives, transforming human relationships in a very deep way and opening to the encounter with God and all their brothers and sisters.

I’m a husband, a dad, a son and a professor. At times, it’s hard to integrate all these various gifts and responsibilities into a coherent whole, especially because I’m an American Irish Catholic. Therefore, I’m always a little bit guilty, wary that I’m failing in each of these roles. Perhaps, I’m an average husband, a mediocre dad, a rather terrible son, and an absentee professor. 

It is in the Eucharist that I receive an answer to my (sometimes self-absorbed) worries. My life, in the end, is not about me. It’s not about how excellent of a husband, a dad, a son, or a professor I am. Rather, my life is about gift. If I live according to the gift of the Eucharist, the self-giving love of the Word made flesh, I will become the integrated person I hope to be. 

All of this is rather good news. The presence of our Lord is gift beyond gift. The Lord’s sacrifice is available in my parish, where the sacrifice of the Mass is offered. There, he gives Himself to me in bread-once-bread and wine-once-wine. But further, he invites me to make a return gift of myself. My whole self; Tim, the husband; Tim, the dad; Tim, the son; Tim, the professor. 

Lift up your heart, Tim, to the Lord. Leave nothing behind, because I, Jesus Christ, gave it all. 

That’s the integrating center. It’s not a magical solution found in a self-help manual. It’s becoming the gift that you receive in Jesus.

This is the Eucharistic life. It’s making every moment of every day an offering back to the Father through the Son in the unity of the Spirit. It’s not my own work, which is why I go again and again to Mass. I receive that I might give to others. And every gift I give is completed in the mystery of the Eucharist.    

I’m a husband, a dad, a son and a professor, but most of all, I am to become the gift that I receive at every Mass.

Timothy P. O’Malley
Pope’s Worldwide Prayer Network (United States)

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