The Eucharist has at all times been the inspiration of the unity of the Church
The Body and Blood of Christ
Deuteronomy 8: 2-3 & 14-16; 1 Corinthians 10: 16-17; John 6: 51-58
“Remember how the Lord your God has led you in the desert for forty years to test you and know your innermost heart. He has fed you manna so that you understand that man lives not only from bread, but from everything that comes from the mouth of the Lord. "
The book Deuteronomy interpreted the life of faith as an ongoing journey. We are like the ancient tribes of Israel on a journey that frees us from sin and leads us to the promised land of fellowship with the living God. The author described this journey as a time of trial, the revelation of our "innermost heart".
The necessary constraints of the current health crisis have greatly eased the many physical and spiritual needs that determine our lives. We are hungry to be with those we love, to find ourselves in them, to share in laughter and joy, healing and forgiveness.
We cannot ignore this fundamental hunger, but with Deuteronomy we can allow it to lead us to realize that we live not only on bread, but on everything that comes from the mouth of the Lord.
Saint Paul, who wrote to the deeply divided church of Corinth, faced their divisions with a truth that was announced at their weekly celebration of the Eucharist.
“The blessing cup we bless is a fellowship with the blood of Christ, and the bread we break is a fellowship with the body of Christ. The fact that there is only one loaf means that although there are many of us, we form a single body because we all share that single loaf. "
The Eucharist, the sacrament of the real and lasting presence of Christ, has always been the foundation of the unity of the Church. Never more than in times of stress and possible division. Covid 19 headlines around the world have revealed both the strengths and the divisions of our faulty humanity.
The celebration of the Eucharist brings us in communion with the Lord's own sacrifice. His is the spilled blood so that we can live; His broken body brings healing. Whatever lies ahead, it will be in his life shared with the Father that we will find a life that will last.
“I am the living bread that has come down from heaven. Whoever eats this bread will live forever. Just as I, who is sent by the living father, create life from the father myself, so everyone who eats me will draw life from me. "