Divine Liturgy III: What earth has given and human hands have made
Even from the beginnings, there has been a collection as part of Mass. For, there's a necessity. The Eucharist is not only a gift granted, willy-nilly ---- though Eucharist would not be without the Lord's continual generosity. The Eucharist begins as the good that we gather and offer to God for Him to use. There is no Bread of Life nor Cup of Eternal Salvation, no body, blood, soul, and divinity of Christ really present, without there first being bread and wine that we provide, our gift to God. Our God has chosen, in this case, not to create His gifts from nothing, but to transform the gifts, small as they may be, that we give to Him, into His great gift to us.
"He took the bread and blessed it." How did He bless it? The gospels don't tell us. They didn't have to say, because everybody knew that; every time bread was eaten, all their life from infancy, they had heard the blessing. "Blessed are You, Lord our God, King of the Universe, who brings forth bread from the earth." And so we bless and offer up that bread, and that wine, that we give and that the Lord will transform for us from ordinary food that nourishes this life to the true food and true drink that nourishes eternal life.