Do We De-value the Lord’s Supper?
Devotional/Discussion Thought of the Day:
16 When we drink the cup of blessing, aren’t we taking into ourselves the blood, the very life, of Christ? And isn’t it the same with the loaf of bread we break and eat? Don’t we take into ourselves the body, the very life, of Christ? 17 Because there is one loaf, our many-ness becomes one-ness—Christ doesn’t become fragmented in us. Rather, we become unified in him. We don’t reduce Christ to what we are; he raises us to what he is. 1 Corinthians 10:16-17 (MSG)
52 Then the Jews started arguing among themselves, ‘How can this man give us his flesh to eat?’ 53 Jesus replied to them: In all truth I tell you, if you do not eat the flesh of the Son of man and drink his blood, you have no life in you. 54 Anyone who does eat my flesh and drink my blood has eternal life, and I shall raise that person up on the last day. 55 For my flesh is real food and my blood is real drink. 56 Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood lives in me and I live in that person. John 6:52-56 (NJB)
“Don’t recoil: your life is going to be a soothing of suffering. This is why you are a disciple of the Master!” (1)
“When I made you a present of that Life of Jesus, I wrote in it this inscription: ‘May you seek Christ. May you find Christ. May you love Christ.’ These are three very distinct steps. Have you at least tried to live the first one?” (2)
When I started writing this blog this morning, I was thinking about the chapel service I led last night for a bunch of seminarians. Great guys, who for the last three weeks I have been privileged to watch engaged in worship, To engage in worship with for a short period of time. Last night, I had the greatest honor, as I fed them the body of Christ, as another pastor gave them the cup of blessing.
The reaction of some was gratefulness, thanks, rejoicing… comments I overheard talked about how they felt more united to each other. That’s cool.
It’s one of the reasons for this blog….those Bible verses above, make it clear – this isn’t just ritual, it is a communion, a time to give thanks, a time to realize the presence of Jesus Christ’s Body and Blood, given and shed for us, that we may live!
This morning, instead of opening the Furrow, (the devotional book I am reading) for some reason I opened the Way. (Both are written by the same guy, St Josemaria Escriva) The two quotes are from the introduction and the forward, They hit me even harder with the necessity of our people to regularly receive the Body and Blood of Christ.
The first is that we encounter much suffering. In the last two weeks, not only have I seen it in the eyes of my friends, my parishioners, but I have seen it as well in the hearts of my brothers who shepherd God’s people, who feed them the Body and Blood of Christ. Severe pain, caused by hard transitions. Some are forced, some are taken on because they knew it was time, even though the pain is excruciating. (Including the pain of those who second guess and play armchair quarterback) We are called to soothe each others wounds, and that is critical in our actions, in our life.
And the best place for dealing with such suffering is on our knees, receiving the Body of Christ. drinking from His fount, reveling in His cleansing presence in our very bodies, in our very lives. For us who are called to soothe suffering and for those who are suffering, this time is precious, it shouldn’t be rushed, it becomes a time of peace.
For the other comment comes into play. Seek Christ, Find Christ, Love Christ. For He is seeking you indeed, but here at the altar, you find him. You know His love, you turn and love in turn.
We devalue this precious time with God in so many ways. When we think it only worth a twice a month offering. When we fail to find ourselves united together with Christ, when we fail to work to see the entire Church able to participate in it together. When we refuse to let what we believe call us to the altar, instead maintaining it must be the name on our church that determines who is worthy. When we fail to point out the healing that occurs, the relationships mended, the life given. We devalue it when we reduce our appreciation of it to what we can observe, when we evaluate the celebration and the bread an from a rational, logical, scientific position. When we fail to recognize the Body and Blood of Christ given and shared with us, for us. When we fail to see the Body of Christ, all those whom it was given for.
This time is precious, it is ordained by God. That alone should be enough for us… but there is so much more…..
Come my friends, you are invited to the feast that is the foretaste of the feast to come…. Let us rejoice and go to the house of the Lord!
(1) Escriva, Josemaria (2010-11-02). The Way (Kindle Location 72). Scepter Publishers. Kindle Edition.
(2) Escriva, Josemaria (2010-11-02). The Way (Kindle Locations 111-113). Scepter Publishers. Kindle Edition.
Posted on June 21, 2014, in Devotions, The Way and tagged Communion, Eucharist, Incarnation, John 6, Life in Christ, Lord's Supper, sacramental, St. Josemaria, The Words of Institution. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.