We need to see ‘beyond the liturgy’. Attending the Eucharistic celebration has its form. We are attending a religious ritual. We follow its structure, the gestures, and movements of worship. It is different from the rest of our day, from where we are coming and returning to. This is the level of the ‘ritual’.
However, we must be aware that what happens in our liturgy is real. That is why we need to see beyond the ‘form’ we mentioned. At one point, what we experience as ‘liturgy’ or ceremony must disappear and, as it were, the Gospel becomes visible. Like through a window, we can see what had happened to the disciples. Most importantly, the liturgy reveals that it is happening to us, right now.
On this level, we don’t come to the liturgy - but we come, as a crowd, to him. At his table, he takes pity on us, ‘because, we are like sheep without a shepherd’. Jesus finds us, people of today, disoriented, uncertain, even frightened of what is happening in the world or in our lives. He recognises the hunger in us. This morning, he makes us sit in groups, in order to feed us. He feeds us with his words, ‘he sets himself to teach us at some length.’ Then, when he breaks the bread, he feeds us ‘with loaves and fish’, too. We should recognise in the food on our table, in our breakfast, lunch and dinner that it is he who is feeding us. The miracle of our daily bread is there! The miracle of our daily spiritual renewal is also there. Without him they would not be.
All our task is to process the miracle of life that happens to us on a daily base. And we are to continue and share this life, daily: ‘My dear people, let us love one another since love comes from God.’ (1 John 4:7-10)
These are verbal Icons, expressions of how the world is seen from Saint Augustine's..