Eucharista, the Greek word for thanksgiving, is what we, as Catholics, celebrate every time we attend Mass. There, united with the saints and angels, we participate in the eternal banquet of thanksgiving, as we give praise, honor and glory to God. During the Mass, we offer our lives, and humble gifts of bread, wine and water, which are divinely perfected and transformed into the very Body, Blood, life and existence of Jesus. We then, as members of His Body, are called to live a “Eucharistic” life of thanksgiving.
But how do we live this life of divine thanksgiving? The answer: by becoming men and women after God’s own heart. We can learn much about living a “Eucharistic” life from Israel’s King David, a shepherd boy, warrior, musician, poet and “man after God’s own heart,” (Acts 13:22). David desired closeness with God, for there, he found holiness, loving kindness, refuge and sustenance. “How precious is your loving kindness, O God! The children of men take refuge in the shadow of your wings. They have their fill of the prime gifts of your house; from your delightful stream you give them to drink,”(Psalms 36:8-9).
With the eyes of faith, he continuously found himself within the very sanctuary of God, as he gazed upon God’s glory with profound thanksgiving. “The one thing I ask of the Lord; this I seek: To dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, that I may gaze on the loveliness of the Lord and contemplate his temple,” (Psalm 27:4). Along with omnipotent power, David also experienced God’s loving and intimate kindness. “Only in God be at rest, my soul, for from him comes my hope. He only is my rock and my salvation”, (Psalms 62:6-7).
During the Mass, we too gaze upon the power and glory of God. In joyful thanksgiving, we are called to trust in God, our merciful Savior, experience His loving and intimate kindness, and share this love through charitable words and deeds. By offering our own self-sacrificial love, we too, can participate in Christ’s redemptive Sacrifice and become partakers in the eternal banquet of thanksgiving.
“I will give thanks to you, O Lord, with all my heart; I will declare all your wondrous deeds. I will be glad and exult in you; I will sing praise to your name, Most High,” (Psalms 9:2-4).
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