A short reflection on “Eucharist and Ecology: Keeping Memorial of Creation” by Denis Edwards.

Br. Peter Minh Duc Nguyen

May 3, 2021

The thesis of the article is the opinion of eschatology in terms of worship. The Sacrament of the Eucharist symbolizes God’s action to promote salvation through us. When we celebrate the Eucharist, we remember all creation and look forward to the fulfillment of the whole universe in Christ.

Denis Edwards uses the familiar images in our daily life: bread and wine (foods and drinks) to express the close relationship between human beings and other creatures (ecology). Then, he brings that relationship up to a higher level in understanding of the communion of all creation in Christ. The whole universe will be united and brought beyond itself in Christ.

The author gives some evidence following to prove his thesis. He uses the images of bread and wine in the Eucharist as the fruits of the earth at the shared table to identify the connection between ecology and the Eucharist. When we use bread and wine in the Eucharist, we are reminded that they are gifts from God and we also remember that everything around us and in the universe is connected and supports each other. When we have a sense of connection in everything in the universe, we will have a new attitude, a positive way to contribute to our global community of life to create a better future with the help of the Holy Spirit. Then, he uses the word “Anamnesis” (commemoration) to encompass the whole Eucharistic prayer. In this prayer, we express our gratitude to God for the creation and redemption. It means God created the whole creation in the beginning and He continues to nourish us and the whole universe of creatures. When we offer bread and wine, the fruits of creation to God in the Eucharist, we are lifting all of creation to God. In our actions, the gifts and the assembled community will be transformed by the Holy Spirit into the Body of Christ. Lastly, the author mentions the eschatological Spirit. This Spirit will make everything in the universe become one, in union, in communion with each other in Christ. That is the fulfillment in divine communion.

In this article, Denis Edwards wants to say that everything is connected in the universe. So, human beings should have a new way of approaching the environment, the natural world to respect and protect it. Because when we protect other creatures, we protect ourselves, too. This article is significant to me for my mission in Oceania. As we know, climate change is a huge issue in the world, particularly in Oceania today. Climate change causes sea levels to rise. It is likely to lead to the disappearance of many islands soon in this area. One of the causes of climate change is due to human activities affecting the environment such as deforestation, water and air pollution, and so on. So helping people understand the importance of protecting the environment and connecting everything in the universe is necessary. Furthermore, it is essential to help people understand the interconnection between ecology and their faith through activities of worship, particularly Mass.