There is something I wonder about at Mass every morning. The way some people speak about going to Communion at Mass, they seem to be regarding it as something they do apart from following the Mass, much in the same way as some people still say the Rosary during Mass.
We have old historical records of the wording of the Mass in the second and third centuries. They professed themselves to be doing everything the way Jesus did it at the Last Supper. They were following the table blessing formula in use for solemn occasions like the Last Supper.
That table blessing had three sections. First, the host asked everyone to recall God’s favors. Secondly, he asked them to be aware of God’s presence with them. Thirdly, he asked them to make themselves into one pleasing gift to God. They did that by offering God their complete obedience and love.
It was at the Last Supper, when Jesus was beginning that third section (the section where the diners united themselves in one pleasing gift to God) that he gave the Apostles his body and blood. He wanted them to become one with him not only spiritually, but physically --by their sharing his body and blood.
The Greek for that third part of the table blessing, the Pleasing Gift, was Eu-charis.
The proper way for us to hear Mass is for us to join with Jesus by becoming part of his Pleasing Gift.
We do that in a twofold way. We do that spiritually by joining him in his act of obedience and love to God. Then, we do that physically by taking his body and blood into our being.