I have grown in a family that is very much devoted to Catholic teachings and tradition, which gave us an opportunity to participate in the work of God. Sunday mass has been a way of life in the family. Growing up in this kind of culture and lifestyle somehow made me more aware of the importance of the Eucharist, but all in the manner that it is an obligation to go to mass, appreciation of God primarily depends on how the Priest actually presented or actuated the Word of God in the homily and vibrancy depends on the kind of singing of the choir. Very shallow experience and appreciation I would say.
Upon my exposure to community work and mission, the eagerness to get to know Christ grow even more, as that desire grew, more and more I excite myself in that encounter of receiving Jesus through His words in the liturgy, and His very self in the Eucharist. In my study of liturgy and sacraments, I have come to understand, appreciate, and be affirmed of that encounter Jesus has actually initiated for us through the Eucharist, the Sacraments made me more grateful of the many opportunity of deepening my faith and experience of Christ.
It also bring so much affirmation of the unity in the body, that we are one, that we belong to one Father, that we are brothers and sisters, that as we experience the summit of our faith in the Eucharist, we are all together, hearing, sharing, giving and receiving the very self of Christ in us manifested in the Liturgy and the Eucharist, that as we come before God in the Eucharist, we are joined by brothers and sisters sharing the same gift of Gods presence amongst one another and celebrating the same faith. Through the liturgy, I am affirmed of Gods continuous work in the Church, and through its tradition we are given the opportunity to actually participate in the very work Jesus has initiated before us. The Church has also helped us to participate and be involved, that way, we get to put into action the encounter we have with Jesus through His Words, and presence in the Eucharist. The study also gave me the opportunity to appreciate history, from the Liturgy in the middle ages, to medieval, to the different centuries and era of developing and understanding the faith, development of monasteries and oratories, religious arts, to the different expression of the faith, architectural design of churches and multiplication of Churches, and different responses and confusion, to the revolt of Church leaders like Martin Luther, the development of what we believe in through the Creed, and the different forms of how our fore fathers fought for the faith the we believe and carry like St. John Bosco, St. Augustine, and the different Church leaders that are examples of faith, all this, gave me that wonderful experience, realization, and awareness of how important this faith that Jesus has actually showed in us during His public ministry, the very same faith that we celebrate today.
The Challenge of today’s generation is to live out, and be bold in living the faith that we believe, to manifest in us the Eucharist that we celebrate. The challenge that we come before God in Liturgy and Sacrament, mindful that we have to do our part in making that encounter truly alive and vibrant. Our faith do not rely on how good the homily was, or how great the singing, though it matters, but our faith relies on how we accept the Word, how we nurture it, and how we live it out. As in one of the lecture we had states “ Evangelization, Faith and Conversion must precede liturgy, which then produces new life in the spirit”.