This Sunday we celebrate The Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ. The three readings today are threaded together through food and drink with words we hear from the Last Supper. The first reading from Genesis has Melchizedek offering “bread and wine.” In the second reading St. Paul references the Eucharistic Prayer and in Luke’s Gospel Christ takes five loaves and two fish “and looking up to heaven, said the blessing over them, broke them and gave them to the disciples.”
In the ancient Greek world before Christ, the Greek mother god Demeter was reverenced for giving the gift of grain to the world through sacrifice. Grain was considered a power for salvation while the Greek god of wine Dionysus identified death by the blood of the grape to make wine to give new life. The history of God’s journey of love for his children winds through the imagery of God creating the grain and the grape. When we bring the gifts of bread and wine to the altar, we are bringing the toils and stories of our lives to Christ to become Christ, as an offering for us, for our salvation.
Jesus is the incarnational indwelling sent by God to feed us eternal life. It is all part of the continued love story of God given for our transformation. Fr. Richard Rohr in his book The Universal Christ writes, “Jesus did not come to change God’s mind about us. Jesus came to change our minds about God.” God loves us relentlessly.
In the breaking of the bread Christ’s love is multiplied over and over again. It is in the sharing of the broken bread that we are a part of the Body of Christ sharing our own brokenness to open our hearts to God and each other. We are all in communion with the truth of Christ’s rising in the bread and wine to heal our own sorrows and brokenness to live forever with the Father.
When we hear today in the Eucharistic prayer “this is my body and this is my blood” we are to hear Christ inviting us to take him in……all of him. It has been said when we taste a sip of the ocean all of the ocean is now inside of us. So too with Christ in Holy Communion……we take all of him inside of us. We are then a tabernacle for Christ inside of us. Do we know that?
Do we live that?
Deacon Jack Redmond