The Prayer over the Offerings from this past Sunday has been sticking with me this week.
May the Holy Spirit, O Lord,
sanctify these gifts laid upon your altar,
just as he filled with his power the womb of the Blessed Virgin Mary,
Through Christ our Lord.
The prayer brings out the relationship between the Eucharist and the mystery of the Incarnation.
It is the Holy Spirit who stretches forth the overflowing love of the Father such that this Beloved takes on our humanity in the womb of Mary. The prayer asks this same grace for the altar at the center of the Christian assembly. As St. Francis put it so simply, Mary is the virgo ecclesia facta, the Virgin made Church. In the Eucharist the Church takes up her Marian role, becoming once again the place where the Spirit conceives the Body of Christ.
Having become once again the Body of Christ in Holy Communion, the faithful go forth from the Eucharist as the Word-made-flesh born into the world, on his way to preach, heal, suffer, and give his life that the grace of his Passion and Resurrection may continue to flow over the world.