He fell at the feet of Jesus and thanked him.

The Greek word for “thanked” in this sentence is one of the most important words in our life of faith.   What is this word?   Euchariston.   That’s right.   The word that we get “Eucharist” from.

The whole of the Mass is our way of saying “Thank you” to Jesus.   “Thank you for saving us.”   “Thank you for giving us your Spirit.”   “Thank you for the Church.”   “Thank you for every good gift you have ever given us.”

During the penitential rite, we thank Jesus for his mercy, even as we confess that we have sinned.   Picture yourself standing before the Lord, hearing him say, “Neither do I condemn you.”   How could you help but sing his praises?   How could you help but cry out, “Glory to God in the highest!”

At the end of each of the readings, we respond, “Thanks be to God!” or “Praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ!”   We thank the Lord for speaking words of life to us, words that have the power to pierce our hearts and lift us up to heaven.   We thank him for all the stories from Scripture that tell us about God’s wonderful deeds—stories that tell us how much he wants to do in our own lives.

During the offertory, we offer him bread and wine, but we also offer him our lives in gratitude for the gift of his life.     When we receive Jesus in Communion, we are telling him how grateful we are for offering himself on the cross and for offering himself to us on the altar.   We are so thankful for this act of love that we long to receive him—body and blood, soul and divinity—into our very being.   We are so moved by his generosity that we want to be with him always.

We have a generous, loving, and merciful God.   He has given us every good and perfect gift, especially the gift of himself in the Eucharist.   Let’s bow down in worship and proclaim our thanks to him!

word among us