At the insistence of the webmaster, I wish to open up to you my thoughts and different aspects of our shared faith. This short reflection seeks to focus on, reflect on, pray about and deepen our appreciation of our wonderful God who thought so much of us to take our flesh and dwell among us.

Only Christianity has an enfleshed God '€“ a God who made the move, emptied‚  Himself to become one of us and one with us. No other religion has this truth.‚  All Religions have belief in a Supreme Being, but none have this unbelievable reality of our Supreme God taking flesh. ‚ 

In the early centuries even strong Christians found this hard to believe. Some said Jesus was a true man alright, but only a man, and because he was such a good man was elevated to a higher status as a special '€œSon of God'€. Others believed that it was unthinkable for God to become truly man also.‚  They said that God'€™s Son took on a human appearance in Jesus but wasn'€™t really human.‚ 

Such people were in heresy, and I wonder how many people there are like this nowadays. Some would think of Jesus more as a man and neglect the Godhead in him.‚  Others concentrate more on the Godhead without believing how this God really mixed it with us and every aspect of our messy and broken world.

It is very hard to hold in balance and harmony both the Transcendental God (the God infinitely above us) and the Incarnate God (the God truly one with us). We have all this in Jesus, and it is to Jesus we must go at this time and ask his help to understand it a little better.

The next step we need to take is to see how Jesus takes flesh in my life. He is very close to me and part of my life and everything that happens. ‚ 

We take a step further. We can stand in amazement at how Jesus identifies himself with each human being. He takes flesh in each person especially the least '€“ the poor, unemployed, homeless, hungry, dispossessed, despised, refugees, outcast, imprisoned, sick, suffering, needy etc.‚ 

Saint (Mother) Teresa of Calcutta inspired and influenced many in her lifetime, and from her place in heaven, continues to be a shining light for us all. It is said of her (who with her Sisters, spent and hour in prayer before the Blessed Sacrament each evening) that when she looked at the Blessed Sacrament, she saw the poor. When she tended to the poor and dying she saw Jesus.


Since, as the Vatican Council said, "the liturgy is the summit towards which the activity of the Church is directed; it is also the source from which all its power flows", I am very keen that in our diocese we have ongoing liturgy education and formation.

Sometime ago we had liturgy seminars for the whole diocese on two weekends. Recently, Sr Elizabeth Murray sgs, has returned to further our understanding and appreciation of the Liturgy. She began in Geraldton itself with the formation of liturgical ministers. At this stage she is in the eastern part of the diocese visiting our small country towns, helping them to grow in appreciation of the value of gathering on Sundays.

The Eucharist is certainly the centre of our lives as Catholics. It is the centre of our spiritual lives. In other words I believe our basic spirituality needs to be Eucharistic or centred on the Eucharist. Because of this, in future Sowers, I would like to write briefly on various aspects of the Eucharist relating to our lives. This reflection is about Eucharist and Thanksgiving.

I want to begin these reflections with thanksgiving, because Eucharist itself means thanksgiving. Thanksgiving also is such an important quality in people'€™s lives. When we gather on Sundays for Mass, the main reason we do so is to worship God, praise God, say, "how wonderful you are God"; give thanks to God. We come for many reasons, but to come and do something for God, or to honour God is the most important reason.

All this presupposes that we have grateful hearts. In other words it presupposes that we are aware of God'€™s unending goodness, lavish love and glorious power, and untiring compassion shown to us and our whole world each day. By saying thanks we acknowledge all this.

We know our "thank you", is so limited. We know though, that when we come to the Eucharist, we come to God through Jesus and so can offer fitting praise and thanks to our wonderful God. In Jesus, and in the Mass, our thanks is perfect. It is summed up so beautifully in what we call the Doxology, "Through Him, with Him, and in Him, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, all glory and honour is yours Almighty Father, forever and ever." Our response "Amen" is so short, but is full of meaning. It means, "Yes, we want all that".

Each Eucharist celebration fosters gratitude in our hearts. The Mass is peppered with words of gratitude and praise. "Glory to God in the highest", "Thanks be to God", "Praise to you Lord, Jesus Christ", "Blessed are you Lord God of all creation", "Let us give thanks to the Lord our God", "Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God of Hosts", "The Doxology", "Hallowed be thy name", The Eucharistic Prayer, introduced by the preface of course, is a total prayer of praise and thanks.

To be truly a Eucharistic people means that not only do we praise and thank God through Jesus at Mass, but also that our lives during the week are filled with gratitude.

It means that we use them as our prayers.

It means that, "our work bench, office, kitchen etc., are altars where we offer love".

It means everything that we do during the week, viz our living, loving, time with our family and friends, rest and recreation etc., all give glory to God. St Paul said "whatever you eat, whatever you drink, whatever you do at all, do it for the glory of God". 1 Cor. 10:31

A good number of years ago a lecturer once described a Christian as "someone who goes through life thanking God". I invite you to join with me in reflecting on how we give thanks to God both at Mass and in our lives during the week.

August 2001