The foundation of our Christian life is the worship and praise of almighty God, expressed in public and private prayer, and by lives lived in loving self-giving and service after the example of Our Lord Jesus Christ. This is the response we are invited to make to the ever-generous love of God which we see in the work of creation at the beginning, and then in the recreation of all things in the self-giving life, death and resurrection of this Lord Jesus Christ. The First Letter of John reminds us that “God’s love was revealed among us in this way: God sent his only Son into the world so that we might live through him. In this is love, not that we loved God but that he loved us . . .Beloved, since God loved us so much, we ought also to love one another.” (1 John 4.9-11)
At the High Mass this Sunday we shall be reminded how the Eucharist is at the centre of this life of worship and service. We shall give praise to the Creator for all the gifts of life, and for the self-giving love of Christ revealed supremely on the Cross, and now given anew in and for us in this sacrament of his body and blood. We shall pray for the church and the world, the sick and the needy, all those who have gone before us. We shall bring sorrow and penitence for our sins, our lack of thankfulness and our misuse of the gifts of creation, and receive forgiveness. Then as Christ offered himself to the Father “once, only once, and once for all,” so together with the bread and the wine, fruits of creation, we offer “ourselves, our souls and bodies” in union with his perfect sacrifice. At his Last Supper with his friends Christ took the bread, blessed and broke it, then gave it to them as his body, shortly before that very body was taken and broken on the cross. So now, if we will, we are to be taken, blessed, broken free from all that hinders our loving, and given as Christ’s body today, the church, to be signs of his life and his love in his world. Christ feeds us with his very self, his body and his blood, to join us together and to strengthen us, and then sends us out to live in the world to God’s praise and glory.