Mercy Word of the Week
The Mercy Word of the Week
As we progress through the Jubilee Year of Mercy proclaimed by Pope Francis, University Ministry offers our community a "Mercy Word of the Week" to help us focus on the themes of mercy that are already so closely aligned to our mission and heritage as an institution sponsored by the Sisters of Mercy.
The first Monday of each month will bring a brief reflection on each of the University's Core Values as expressions of our Mercy charism. We hope these focused thoughts will lead to your own considered contemplation on mercy and its role in your life.
Bread: "This is the bread that came down from heaven. Unlike your ancestors who ate and still died, whoever eats this bread will live forever."
For Catholics, the Eucharist offers nourishment far superior to any other. We consume the bread and wine knowing that God's presence is more than symbolic. The bread and wine are a reminder of the Passover Seder and a revelation that Christ is that Paschal Lamb, whose cross anoints our homes and whose sacrifice frees us from death. Have you ever paused and asked: Why did it have to be bread? Couldn't it have been some other food? To answer that question with a question: Why would it be any other food?
Bread is a universal food and one of life's most essential nutriments.
The Eucharistic elements of bread and wine represent humanity's first collaboration with God. Before bread and wine, humans ate only what they could find, pick or kill: berries, water, nuts, leaves and meats. Humans stumbled upon the edible…until they conceived of a way to cultivate. To make bread and wine, humans harvested the land, gathered its contents and created something new with God. As the Eucharistic prayer proclaims the "fruit of the Earth and work of human hands" become the bread of life. It's a great mystery that perhaps we sometimes take for granted. But many saints and martyrs gave their lives for the privilege to proclaim that "When we eat this bread and drink this cup we proclaim your death, O Lord, until you come."
Megan Lavelle, campus minister for Service and Justice