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By Br. Elijah Dubek, O.P., Catholic Exchange, July 30, 2019
Sometimes we take our Catholic lingo for granted, forgetting that like any other group, we have jargon. It takes time to get acclimated to it. If we are not attentive, sometimes the meaning of our own jargon eludes us. Maybe we grew up hearing a word and everyone seemed to know what it meant (except us, of course) and we were too ashamed to ask about it. As a result, when we listen to our pastor’s homily, faithfully looking for that spiritual nugget he delivers each week, we frown in confusion. “Let your love be eucharistic,” he says. We know what he says is true, and our whole heart affirms it in faith, but we puzzle over its meaning.
What does it mean for love to be eucharistic? We believe in the Eucharist, and the Real Presence of Jesus Christ in the Blessed Sacrament, but what does it mean for my love to be eucharistic?
I would like to suggest four ways to understand this.
First, eucharistic love is gratuitous. From its Greek roots, “eucharist” means thanksgiving or good grace/favor. God’s love for us is gratuitous because he loves us prior to anything good we do or become that could earn any love. Saint Paul said that’s how God proved his love, that he died while we were yet sinners (Rom 5:8). For our love to be eucharistic, then, means that we also offer gifts to others without first sizing up whether they are worthy. Instead of asking ourselves if the homeless person deserves our help, let’s take the chance and buy him lunch anyway. ….