In Glasgow in our Mill Hill House, I sat in a circle with over sixties women. I was one of only two men in the circle of prayer and faith sharing. They read, meditated, and reflected on bits of the talks by Timothy Radcliffe on the Opening of the Synod on Synodality – how the Eucharist is our only hope in the face of violence and evil, from Rwanda in the 90s to now, needless to say, even more so in the past decades, centuries and millennia.
“Our Hope is Eucharistic”. As these words mean the world and challenge my faith a lot, I felt to the same degree the horror of Rwanda, Cameroon, South Sudan, Ukraine, Nigeria, Israel etc in my heart, mind and memory. Compassion!
Do you ever sit to pray and reflect sometimes and only the memories of trauma in families and Church and Mission cry out?
Do you ever smile each time you hear anything in the lines of St John Paul II’s Eucharistic Amazement, the crie du Coeur of Mane Nobiscum Domine, and the incomparable, unfathomable, priceless gift of the Eucharist evoked? Hearts on fire, feet on the move. Mission Sunday Theme by Pope Francis from Luke 24:32-33.
We easily forget or settle on routine or monotony even with the Eucharist. But to hear and read in so powerful, yet humble and humbling words and convictions that our hope is Eucharistic, and our only Hope is Jesus, takes us to the joy that comes with dawn of the Easter dusk and Night Paschal Remembrance.
In this month of the Rosary and of Mission – the Mission of the Church and of all the baptized, of the Lord who was sent by the Father, the Mission which is Eucharistic – I relish the words of late Fr Kevin Scallon, reflecting on the Eucharistic Body of Christ, the crushed wheat in which His body is formed: the Fifth Luminous mystery:
The Eucharist is the source and summit of the Church’s life. The other sacraments and every ministry of the Church lead to the Eucharist because the Eucharist is Christ himself. It is the Paschal Mystery, the Lord’s Supper, the Sacrifice of the Cross, the Resurrection from the dead, and it is the Real presence of the Living and Glorious Christ.
O loving Mother Mary, when you gathered with the disciples for the breaking of the Bread, you received from their hands your risen Eucharistic Son, you helped them to remember him as the called to mind His words and teachings; his face always before you. Teach us to see Jesus in the Eucharist through your eyes of faith, and to love Him with your heart. And may we find Him in every crushed grain of humanity from which his body is made.
“Do this in memory of me – His abiding presence. The Eucharistic Hope of the Synodal journey”.
The Lord is with us in Rome and in our homes, in the Church and in our streets, in our visions and in our missions, in the air and in the seas, in the day and in the nights of our lives; in the pains, anxieties, griefs, sorrows, misfortunes of life as in the joys, achievements, talents, privileges and ecstasies of our lives.
It sounds like there are only two causes of palpitations in the world and in each heart – suffering (violence, sickness, trauma) and God in Jesus in the Eucharist and in mystery – the joy and sorrow of love or lack of it. Indeed, the raving heartbeat of both the enigma of evil and of Eucharistic amazement is the new normal.
In the crushing, in the breaking, in the pressing, God is bringing new wine out of us. (Hillsong praise and worship).
Our Hope is Eucharistic. No mere words. No mere cliché, no mere sentiments, no mere nostalgia. Simply the real presence. Hope against hope. Mystery. Mistakable or unmistakable powerful yet humble presence.
St John Paul II, St Theresa, St Teresa, St Faustina, St Margaret Mary, St Luke and all the missionary saints of this Month of Mission – pray for us.
Emmanuel Mbeh MHM, October 2023.