Have you ever noticed the chalice that is used in Mass causes a reflection? Some of the cups are colored or muted, but the gold cups in particular act as a mirror. When Father Bob holds it up during the consecration, I can see the congregation in the cup. When it is on the table, I can see the book of prayers and other vessels for Mass. And when I go up for communion and receive the cup, I see myself.
It reminds me of other mirrors. The mirror on my van reflects things as bigger than they actually are. The mirror in my hallway tells me whether I’m going to stick with the first outfit I put on or a later rendition. The mirror in the parish office is one way, so inside I can see people coming in but they can’t see me. Most of these mirrors have a purpose of showing me something I need to know. They reflect information.
But the chalice is different. It reflects who we are to become, and that is Jesus. Everything that cup holds and brings forth is Jesus. As Catholics, we believe we receive Jesus in the bread and wine. Jesus wants us to look at his whole life, death and resurrection; and then, we should take that leap and say yes to all of it. We drink it in. We say yes to our belief in it and say yes to our living it.
So seeing what the chalice reflects is powerful. We aren’t just seeing ourselves but Christ who is in us. It is a glimpse of how God sees us, really. We drink the wine and we are given a message. God is saying, “Look! Look what love does! Now go do it!” Father Bob raises the chalice that is Jesus within and, as a community, we have the capacity to mirror Him.
Eucharist is more than bread and wine. It is an action. We are Eucharist-ing. We are like the cup itself, holding Christ and reflecting Christ. We share in this mission together at Mass. We are communing. And then we are sent forth (The word Mass comes from the Latin missa, or to go, sent forth.). As we attempt to come and follow Jesus, be strengthened by what Jesus gave us. Jesus gave His very self, and wants us to be His living mirrors.
How might you reflect Jesus this week?
Editor’s note 5/28/2019: I’ve been thinking about this post again, because I was recently reminded that mirrors fully receive what is in front of them. Mirrors completely receive just as the onlooker completely receives the reflection. This is another layer of the mirroring that happens at Eucharist. We must be truly present in order to receive true presence. And by doing that, we are fully received.