Scripture Passages and Prayers
John 6: 54—58
‘Anyone who eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life,
and I shall raise them up on the last day.
For my flesh is real food
and my blood is real drink.
He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood
lives in me
and I live in him.
As I, who am sent by the living Father,
myself draw life from the Father,
so whoever eats me will draw life from me.
This is the bread come down from heaven;
not like the bread our ancestors ate:
they are dead,
but anyone who eats this bread will live forever.’
‘I am the vine, you are the branches.
Whoever remains in me, with me in him,
bears fruit in plenty;
for cut off from me you can do nothing.’
‘Peace I bequeath to you,
my own peace I give you,
a peace the world cannot give, this is my gift to you.
Do not let your hearts be troubled or afraid.’
1 Corinthians 11:23-26
This is what I received from the Lord and in turn passed on to you; that on the same night he was betrayed, the Lord Jesus took some bread, and thanked God for it and broke it, and he said, “this is my body, which is for you; do this as a memorial of me..” In the same way he took the cup after supper, and said, “this cup is the new covenant in my blood. Until the Lord comes, therefore, every time you eat this bread and drink this cup, you are proclaiming his death.
A Prayer of Dedication
Jesus, bless these hands you have chosen as your tools.
Jesus, always keep us aware and in awe of our sacred mission.
Jesus, make us worthy of this great ministry we have humbly accepted.
Jesus, send us out into the world to distribute your love.
Blessed and Broken
In the Eucharist bread is taken, blessed, broken and given.
In life we are taken, blessed, broken and given.
The priest takes the bread in his hands
and blesses it during the Eucharistic prayer;
then he breaks it and gives it to us as the body of Christ.
Through our birth and baptism we are taken into God’s hands;
as the bread is taken, so too are we.
In life we are blessed by family, friends, love and joy;
as the bread is blessed, so too are we.
We are broken by failure, sin, pain and heartbreak;
as the bread is broken, so too are we.
In death we are given back to the mystery from which we came;
as the bread is given, so too are we.
When we take, bless, break and give bread to one another,
we believe the Lord to be especially present in our midst.
But we must learn to accept that in his memory
we will be taken, blessed, broken and given
for the life of the world.
Prayer of St. Augustine
The bread is Christ’s body,
the cup is Christ’s blood.
If you, therefore, are Christ’s body and members,
it is your own mystery that is placed
on the Lord’s table!
It is your own mystery that you are receiving!
Be a member of Christ’s body, then, so that your Amen may ring true!
Be what you see; receive what you are.
Come follow me
Lord, you asked for my hands
That you might use them for your purposes.
I gave them for a moment; then withdrew them for the work was hard.
You asked for my mouth to speak out against injustice.
I gave you a whisper that I might not be accused.
You asked for my eyes to see the pain of poverty.
I closed them for I did not want to see.
You asked me for my life that you might work through me.
I gave you a small part that I might not get “too involved”
Lord, forgive me for calculated efforts to serve you
Only when it is convenient for me to do so,
Only in those places where it is safe to do so, and
Only with those who make it easy to do so.
Father, forgive me, renew me,
Send me out as a usable instrument,
That I make take seriously the meaning of your Cross
And of your call to “Come follow me.”
Reflection from St. Teresa of Calcutta
The Holy Hour before the Eucharist should lead us to a “holy hour” with the poor, with those who will never be a human success and whose only consolation is Jesus. Our Eucharist is incomplete if it does not make us love and serve the poor. In receiving the communion of the poor, we discover our own poverty.
Their eyes were opened and they recognised him at the breaking of bread. We are called to recognise Christ: in the Eucharist, the gift of his life to us; in each other, the community who are called to be his body now: in the broken lives around us, that we are called to serve. Jesus once said “You received without charge, give without charge. We pray that we may be generous.
Some Articles from SACRAMENTUM CARITATIS
(Pope Benedict XVI, Feb. 2007. Can be accessed at www.vatican.va)
We cannot approach the Eucharistic table without being drawn into the mission which, beginning in the very heart of God, is meant to reach all people. Missionary outreach is thus an essential part of the eucharistic form of Christian life.
Keeping in mind the multiplication of the loaves and fishes, we need to realise that Christ continues today to exhort his disciples to become personally engaged: “You yourselves give them something to eat” (Mt 14:16). Each of us is truly called, together with Jesus, to be read broken for the life of the world.
All who partake of the Eucharist must commit themselves to peacemaking in our world scarred by violence and war, and today in particular by terrorism, economic corruption and sexual exploitation.
The Lord Jesus, the bread of eternal life, spurs us to be mindful of the situations of extreme poverty in which a great part of humanity still lives: these are situations for which human beings bear a clear and disquieting responsibility.
The food of truth demands that we denounce inhumane situations in which people starve to death because of injustice and exploitation, and it gives us renewed strength and courage to work tirelessly in the service of the civilisation of love.
From the beginning, Christians were concerned to share their goods (Acts 4:32) and to help the poor (Rom 15:26).
Pope Benedict XVI further encourages us in the context of the Eucharist to be mindful of those who are in need:
‘The Lord Jesus, the bread of eternal life, spurs us to be mindful of the situations of extreme poverty in which a great part of humanity still lives: these are situations for which human beings bear a clear and disquieting responsibility. The food of truth demands that we denounce inhumane situations in which people starve to death because of injustice and exploitation, and it gives us renewed strength and courage to work tirelessly in the service of the civilisation of love.
A leaflet version of these prayers can be found in the download section of this website.