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Gathered, Blessed, Broken & Shared

Dear Friends and Parishioners of Saint Patrick Parish,

Gathered. Blessed. Broken. Shared

Each of these words have the ability to evoke a personal response within us.  Their usage in daily life can have different applications.

“Gathered,” for example, can mean to summon people to lend support for those who are celebrating a joyful event or folks who come together and rally around a grieving friend.  It can also describe unhealthy habits of collecting things in excess (hoarding) or creating a supply of weapons that destroy.  

“Broken” may point to something positive like the breaking of a fever or the breaking in of a favorite pair of shoes. It can also describe a heart that suffers personal loss or one that has been shattered due to sin or violence. 

The word “sharing” can point to generosity.  But it can also be used to describe the distribution of misinformation or rumors.   

Even the use of the word “blessed,” which often points to something touched by God, can be twisted in other situations and used to mislabel something that is actually evil. 

These words are certainly powerful words. But Jesus chose these words to describe what he came to do in obedience to the Father.  He gathered the crowds and proclaimed the coming of the Kingdom.  His blessing was abundant in all that he did as he moved from town to town.  Jesus healed the broken who were often cast to the side, especially the repentant sinner or the disabled.  And he taught his disciples that sharing has no limits as he fed the thousands.

We see the culmination of these four powerful words on the night before he died.  As Jesus gathered his disciples in the Upper Room for their first Eucharist, he took the bread, blessed it, broke it, and then shared it with them.  “This is my Body, given for you…”  “This is the chalice of my Blood…do this in memory of me.”  Through this four-fold description of gathering, blessing, breaking, and sharing, Jesus gave specific meaning and order to their combined usage.  Not one of these words are used without the others.  

As these words are used to describe our liturgical worship, they also serve as a clear model for us to use in our daily lives.  As disciples, everything we do – everything that describes our daily activity – should be motivated by the use of these words in accord with Christ’s teaching. 

Today, we celebrate the Solemnity of our Lord’s Body and Blood.  We believe in the Real Presence of Christ who remains with us in the Blessed Sacrament.  The Eucharist is Christ’s promise that he shall remain with us until the end of the ages.

How appropriate, therefore, that these four powerful words – gathered, blessed, broken, shared – should serve as the foundation of our theme for the Eucharistic Revival sweeping the country. 

While we will be invited to participate in various opportunities throughout the coming year, we are invited to spend this solemnity before our Eucharistic Lord and thank Him for the gift he has left for our    nourishment which serves as the perfect model to shape and inspire our daily lives. 

May the true presence of Christ not only remain within us, but may this gift serve as the source and summit of our discipleship as we bring the presence of Christ to others.

In His Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity,

Fr. Gurnick