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THE LITURGY OF THE EUCHARIST: Eucharistic Prayer I (The Roman Canon) (14)
“Through whom you continue to make all these good things, O Lord;…”
We know that frequent reception of the sacraments is important, but this necessity is best described as the importance of living a sacramental life. Living a sacramental life through he sacraments is living a life infused with something more that sustains us and shapes us.
Our Lord gave his life to us on the Cross, but that life continues to be given through the sacraments throughout our life. In some mysterious way that we’ll only fathom in Heaven, Our Lord on Calvary started “transmitting” his life to all of humanity, past, present, and future, and in every celebrate of the sacraments, especially the Eucharist, we “tune in” to that transmission and receive a new infusion of life in Christ.
His immolation as victim is finished, but his self-offering on our behalf continues even today from Heaven, where he is seated at the right hand of the Father and interceding on our behalf. The thought of self-giving for all eternity may fill us with hesitation as to whether that would be paradise, but Our Lord’s eternal self-giving reminds us that we’re only truly happy to the degree in which we give ourselves. It may not feel very good in its moment, but in retrospect we’ll have the contentment and peace of soul that we put someone else first and didn’t let ourselves become enslaved by the things, people, or situations that tempted us to be selfish. In eternity this spiritual liberty will blossom into a spiritual liberality that gives us no qualms about being generous to each other purely out of love.
“… you sanctify them, fill them with life, bless them, and bestow them upon us.”
In these few words, almost at the end of the Eucharistic Prayer, we recall all the steps we and the Lord have taken during its recitation. We have presented offerings to the Lord and asked him to sanctify them with the goal of filling them with his divine life through their consecration and transubstantiation. We’ve asked him to bless these offerings, to consider them precious and special in his sight and in the sight of all. Lastly, and not least, we know he has given us these “good things” as gifts so that we, in our poverty, have something to offer to him and something that will nourish us with divine life.