Frequent sharing of the Eucharist guarantees God's grace for us.’ While this slogan which appears at a recent First Holy Communion for children has merit, it calls for deeper reflection. The truth is that years of mechanistic responses at Mass can set in place a spiritual lethargy that drains an enthusiasm to link the Eucharist to life in the real world.

Of particular interest for his paper is the Sign of Peace and Presentation of Gifts. In Sacramentum Caritatis, Pope Benedict XVI notes the great value of the Sign of Peace especially in a world fraught with fear and conflict. However, he urges restraint in the liturgical exchange of peace lest it becomes a ‘certain distraction.’ To that end he has asked ‘the competent curial offices to study the possibility of moving the sign of peace to another place, such as before the presentation of gifts to the altar.’

The proposal to link the two activities is noteworthy in view of their potential to promote spiritual growth and Jesus' teaching in Matthew 5:23-24, which the Pope cites. This short paper ponders on the reapplication of Amos 5:21-24 by Jesus in Matthew 5:23-24. It closes with a reflection on Karl Rahner's insight on the inseparable bond between our liturgical life and life in the real world.


liturgical life, life in the real world, Eucharist, Sign of Peace, authenticity, spiritual growth

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