(Begin reading the letter to the Colossians).
The Responsorial (Psalm 33) echoes what Paul felt about the Colossians he had evangelized: “Happy the people the Lord has chosen to be his own.” This is the way we should feel during the Rite of Communion.
The liturgical Instructions tell us that both the presider and the congregation should “spend some time praying privately” after all have received Communion. (General Instruction, no. 88).
Paul’s letter to the Colossians 1:1-8 suggests how we might spend it. “We always give thanks to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, in our prayers for you.” What if we spent time after Communion just giving thanks for all the people there?
Would this distract us from the presence of Jesus within us? Not if we give thanks theologically!—entering deeply into the mystery of Christ present in us and in everyone else at the same time.
Heaven is not a private audience with God. Nor is Mass. Jesus describes heaven most often as a communal meal, a banquet. As “the marriage feast of the Lamb.” Our joy in heaven is a communal joy. We enjoy God together. And part of that joy is enjoying one another. Enjoying one another enjoying God. That is what Communion is (See Matthew 22:2; 25:10; Luke 14:7-24; Revelation 19:9).
Suppose that after receiving Communion we all sat in silence, aware of Christ within us, aware of Christ in all, aware of the mystery of shared divine life—shared knowledge and love of God—uniting us all in the “communion of the Holy Spirit.” What would that do for our feelings about the Church? About our parish community? About family and friends who are present? About ourselves as part of this sanctified and sanctifying community?
Paul wrote the Colossians how conscious he was of “your faith in Christ Jesus and the love you bear toward all... moved as you are by the hope held in store for you in heaven.” Is it the faith, the hope, the love we experience in each other that make us appreciate the Church? And “give thanks to God” for one another?
It can be, if we pray after Communion.
Luke 4:38-44 shows us Jesus drawing a crowd by healing. Why don’t people flock to Mass from all over town? They would if someone were working miraculous cures. So why not for the miracle of Eucharist, the Bread of Life? Why not to hear the lifegiving word of God? Why not to experience the divine gift of the “grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God the Father, and communion in the Holy Spirit”?
It may be because we don’t make these miracles visible.
Jesus counts on us to do that.
Initiative: Make divine life visible in you. Express faith, hope, and love physically.