The Lord Jesus is here among us, he has brought us together. He speaks to us today; he gives himself to us to eat and to drink. May he always be with you R/ And also with you.
Introduction by the Celebrant
A. Take and Eat The most frequent form of contact with the Church is, for almost all Catholics, the Sunday Mass. It is good to ask ourselves today: Why are we here? What are we doing here? Why must it be the Eucharist that brings us together? Because the Eucharist is the Lord himself. It assures us, believers, that the Lord is here, that he is present not only in the Blessed Sacrament but in each of us and in our communities. He guarantees to those who believe in him that he is walking with us as our companion in life. Even more, he shows us in the Eucharist how to live like him, give ourselves with him; how with him to break ourselves for one another and to give thanks to God, and to each other too. We join Jesus now in his thanks to the Father.
B. An Active Presence
When in a cafeteria you sit at the same table with someone who is just sitting there without a word or a sign of recognition, it is as if he or she is not present. People are present to one another when they interact. We believe in the real presence in the Eucharist. The Lord is there for us, speaking to us, loving us, giving himself to us, and I hope that we respond to him. He makes us capable of becoming present to others the way he is there for us. Let us ask him for this living real presence.
A. Take and Eat Our life is still much unlike that of Jesus for we are sinners in need of forgiveness. We now seek the Lord's pardon and strength. (PAUSE) Lord Jesus, in the eucharist you give yourself to us to eat and share. All thanks and praise to you! Lord, have mercy. R/ Lord, have mercy. Jesus Christ, in the eucharist you invite us to become with you food and drink for the life of the world. All thanks and praise to you! Christ, have mercy. R/ Christ, have mercy.
Lord Jesus, in the eucharist you give us the strength to live the way you lived: for God and people. All thanks and praise to you! Lord, have mercy. R/ Lord, have mercy.
Have mercy on us, Lord, unite us more to you by forgiving us and making us share more deeply in your life. Lead us to everlasting life. R/ Amen.
B. An Active Presence
We would sin less if we were more aware of the presence of Jesus in our lives, We ask him to forgive us. (PAUSE) Lord Jesus, in the eucharist you sit at table with us and you converse with us by your word: Lord, have mercy. R/ Lord, have mercy.
Jesus Christ, in the eucharist you set for us the table of yourself: you give yourself to us: Christ, have mercy. R/ Christ, have mercy.
Lord Jesus, in the eucharist you make us become more like yourself: Lord, have mercy. R/ Lord, have mercy.
Speak to us, Lord, your forgiving word and make us whole and new again. Lead us to everlasting life. R/ Amen.
Let us pray that the Spirit may give us a real hunger for the Lord (PAUSE) God our Father, you fill the hungry with the food they need and you do not let the poor go away with empty hands. Keep speaking to us the Word of your Son as the inspiration and guide of our life. Let Jesus sustain and restore us with his body and refresh us with his drink of joy, that we may share ourselves with each other and become each other's delight. Let his bread of life be the pledge of your unending bliss and happiness. We ask this through Christ our Lord. R/ Amen.
Liturgy of the Word
First Reading Introduction: A Covenant In Bread And WineMelchizedek, priest and king of Jerusalem, welcomes Abraham with a covenant meal of bread and wine. In the signs of bread and wine of the Eucharist, Jesus strengthens us in the covenant with the Father.
Second Reading Introduction: The Meal Of The Lord's Coming Paul tells us how Jesus instituted the Eucharist at the Last Supper. We should continue celebrating the Eucharist to hasten the coming of his kingdom of love and justice among us and to prepare for his final coming.
Gospel Introduction: Jesus Feeds The Hungry Jesus welcomes all that go to him, speaks his liberating Word to them, and gives them food when they are hungry. In the Eucharist Christ gives himself and renews the covenant.
Let us pray to our Lord Jesus Christ that with him we may be open to all needs and all hungers. Let us say: R/ Stay with us, Lord. - For a Church hungry for community and shared responsibility, that we may be tolerant of one another and respectful of legitimate diversity and that we may build up one another, let us pray: R/ Stay with us, Lord. - For Christian Churches hungry for unity and for the sharing of the eucharist, that our prayers and efforts at reconciliation may bring us together in the body of the Lord, let us pray: R/ Stay with us, Lord. - For the many people in the world hungry but not yet satisfied with food and human dignity, that they may be given their fair share of the goods of the world and of spiritual values, let us pray: R/ Stay with us, Lord. - For those who are hungry for freedom. justice and peace, that we may belong among them and that we may not be too easily satisfied, let us pray: R/ Stay with us, Lord. - For those who hunger for faith and hope, that they may find Christ and that we may be the humble way to him, let us pray: R/ Stay with us, Lord. Lord Jesus Christ, stay with us and nourish us with yourself and with the courage to go all the way with one another and with you, our Lord for ever. R/ Amen.
Prayer over the Gifts
Our God and Father, as a meal brings a family together and is a sign of unity and solidarity, so too we are gathered in unity around the table of your Son. Let your Son keep us together in friendship, peace and a common concern for love and justice among us and in the whole world. We ask you this through him who gives himself to us and stays with us, Jesus Christ, your Son and our Lord for ever. R/ Amen.
Introduction to the Eucharistic Prayer
With joy we give thanks to our God who cares by giving us Jesus as our companion in life and our food for the road.
Invitation to the Lord's Prayer
Let us pray to our Father in heaven to give us the food for our bodies and the food of the Lord's body: R/ Our Father...
Deliver us, Lord, from every evil and grant us to live in peace and friendship. Through the body and blood of your Son free us from the selfishness of sin and give us the will and courage to bring food and justice to a hungry world, as we work in joyful hope for the coming of your kingdom among us and for the final coming in glory of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. R/ For the kingdom...
At the Breaking of Bread
As Jesus commanded us to do, we break his bread for all who are hungry for him. Let us also break and share ourselves with one another, that together we may follow the way of the Lord.
Invitation to Communion
This is Jesus our Lord, who gave bread to the hungry. He says to us now: I am the bread of life. It is my flesh for the life of the world. Happy are we to be invited to the table of the Lord. R/ Lord, I am not worthy...
Note. It would be fitting on the Solemnity of the Body and Blood of Christ to give communion under both kinds.
Prayer after Communion
Lord Jesus Christ, you have given us your body and blood, your whole self. Accept our thanks and stay with us to be our strength in the beautiful but demanding task of bringing your love, justice and hope to a divided and cold world. And make us capable of setting the table of ourselves for one another, as you do for us, our Lord and Savior for ever. R/ Amen.
In this eucharist the Lord has shared himself with us not just for our consolation but to possess us and to transform us with his own spirit of commitment to God and to people. The lot of people hungry in any way for food and love, for encouragement, for something and someone to believe in, can no longer leave us indifferent. May God give us this self-forgetting courage: the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. R/ Amen.
Let us go with the Lord and share ourselves with him. R/ Thanks be to God.