15 Feb 2012

"...we should think twice before we say 'Amen'..."

Archbishop Oscar Romero was assassinated while celebrating the Eucharist in his Cathedral in El Salvador on24 March 1980. He challenges us today with these words:

"There are so many hungry people in this world, and their hunger is more than physical. Children are starving for love and affection. The elderly are groaning out of loneliness. People in our families and circle of friends are craving our time and attention. The poor and sick yearn for care and understanding. The wealthy hunger for meaning.

Our challenge as Eucharistic people is to become the Bread of Life for others. As St. Augustine put it: ‘Become what you receive.’ We, as Christians, must become the bread that feeds the hungry people around us. We are called to feed others with love, care, compassion, concern, hospitality and justice. This is precisely what we commit ourselves to at each Eucharist.
The challenge is addressed to each of us personally, and as a community: ‘The Body of Christ.’ ‘The Blood of Christ.’ When we say our ‘Amen,’ we accept the challenge. We say, ‘Yes! I am called to break my body and pour out my blood for everybody. Yes! I am daily bread for the hungry people I know and those I don’t know.’
That ‘Amen’ is one of the most important words we say at Mass. We should think twice before we say it. It should make us shudder. To receive the Eucharist is to make the commitment to become the Eucharist—for whoever needs it. Indeed, if we do not intend to become what we receive’, we would do well to absent ourselves from the communion line."

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