Each time you receive the Eucharist, what do you feel or what is your experience?
At the Last Supper, after giving thanks, Jesus passed the consecrated bread and wine into the hands of his disciples. This act of Jesus giving bread and wine to the disciples has been known as the time that Jesus established the Eucharist, so that the disciples could receive Jesus’ body and blood for their spiritual nourishment. Jesus also told his disciples “Do this in remembrance of Me,” and in saying this, he entrusted his mission to all who followed him. For me, this invitation along with the command “take it” signifies Jesus’ desire for the disciples to claim his mission as their own mission and to see their essential roles in God’s missionary plan. From the moment the disciples took the bread and the chalice from Jesus’ hands, God’s earthly mission became both Jesus’ and disciples’ mission. This mission has been passed from generation to generation and continues with us — with you and me.
Every time I prepare myself to receive Communion, I reflect on these two questions: “Am I willing to accept Jesus’ invitation” and “What is Jesus inviting me to?” Sometimes, Jesus’ invitation is not what we expect.
What invitation might Jesus be offering to you? Could Jesus be inviting you to a life as a religious sister or inviting you to a change in ministry or to a way of living that allows you to respond to the needs of our times? We may feel that we are not ready or well equipped for this invitation. Yet, if we trust in Jesus, we will have the courage to embrace his invitation with deep gratitude. We will also find ourselves becoming closer to Jesus with a generous spirit and with confidence to follow God’s will and God’s plan for us.
When I receive the Eucharist in my hands, it allows me to briefly look at the host and feel touched by Jesus. Then, with great gratitude, knowing that Jesus loves and trusts me, I humbly respond “Amen!” and accept Jesus in the Eucharist as well as the mission of Jesus and his will for me. When using my own hands to put the host into my mouth, I say to God and to myself that “With my full freedom, under your love and trust, I am willing to accept your Body/Blood along with your will and mission to proclaim the Good News on earth. Help me to find you in every step of my life.” This ritual keeps me reflecting on the needs and the signs of our time for the mission of serving God’s people.
Jesus is looking for people who are open to his call and willing to carry on his mission. Are you willing to be one of these people? If you hear or feel some echo of this invitation inside you, inviting you to do Jesus’ mission through your consecrated life, visit our vocation website, or contact us. And if you are already in the discernment process with us, what invitation do you hear from God at this time?