THE alms for which your generosity is asked are nothing
exterior to the sacrament, but a part of it. If you were living in
the days of the ancient church, you would be bringing not money, but cakes
of bread and flasks of wine. All would be placed upon the altar;
part would be consecrated for the eucharist, the remainder would be given
to the sick and poor. Now you bring money. But your money is
still presented along with the bread and wine, and it still means the same
thing. The offering is your offering; it is you yourselves who are
laid on the altar to be consecrated, and to be made the body of Christ.
Your gift is a token of yourself. I break the bread for the death
of Christ, and we are all sacrificed to God in Christ's death, dying in
him to our own will, and receiving Christ our true life in communion.