Feast of Faith
Friday, June 18, 2021
The Collection: A Privilege
As the altar is prepared for the celebration of the Eucharist, the collection is taken up. In the early church, this part of the Mass must have been something to behold, as the people suddenly began to move, bringing forward to the deacons and priests freshly-baked bread and fine wine. Then, after the Eucharistic Prayer, that same community came forward again in the Communion procession, and they received back the very gifts they had given, now transformed into something infinitely more precious than bread and wine: the very Body and Blood of Christ.
Beginning around the eleventh century, it became the custom for people to present money instead of bread and wine, and the procession of the faithful gradually disappeared (it survives in the liturgy of Holy Thursday). But the meaning is the same. We continue to bring the fruit of our labors and to offer them freely to God. And God continues to transform them into Christ. It is through our generous sharing of time, talent, and treasure that our parishes can preach the gospel, reach out to the sick and the imprisoned, and celebrate the sacraments.