Jun 12, 2020

The Substance of God

The Sacrament of the Body and Blood of Christ reminds us that the bread that He gives us, is not the stuff that fills our stomach. He feeds us through His eternal priesthood – by the sacrifice of His own body and blood He offers to His Father on our behalf. This is what priesthood is and does – offering sacrifice.

The bread and wine that we place on the church altar at Mass, counts for little – it is little, just like you and me.  But in the hands of Christ the eternal priest, the bread and wine become His own life-giving body and blood – Christ becomes our food in the wilderness of the world.

This is by no means allegorical, or a metaphor. Time and space as we experience it, blocks our vision of what angels and the saints of heaven perceive. From our perspective, we have only a temporal reference point to look towards - our bread and wine that our natural senses perceive. 

But when we do what the Lord commanded us to do at his Last Supper, the eternal God enters time and place at the coordinates of the altar at Mass. The bread and wine we place upon it are, by God's power and design, brought into complete and perfected union with the resurrected and eternal Christ. 

In such a unique encounter between heaven and earth, between time and eternity, our bread and wine have no choice but to become the substance of Jesus Christ who, in all His power and glory, intercedes for us before the throne of our heavenly Father. 

Even though from here, we can not see, nor taste this heaven on earth, when we eat and drink of the Eucharistic elements, our frail and broken bodies are guided, locked into communion with Christ's body and blood in heaven.

This can be as painful as it is beautiful. Painful, because Holy Communion alerts us to our unworthiness, our sinfulness - we are imperfect, unfinished. It is beautiful because the gift of Holy Communion gives us hope that we, and all of creation, will be brought to our own finality in Christ himself.

In the meantime, as people of faith and hope, we journey through this world with the expectation that it will blossom with new life, that all creation with eventually be changed into the substance of Christ Himself. 

As we wait in joyful hope, let us be ever more conscious of our deepest hunger for the Bread that feeds and satisfies angels and heavenly saints - the Bread of Eternity, Christ himself. 

We also built up our deepest appetite through fasting and longing, never rushing the altar as if starved, but with holy fear, gratitude and thanksgiving for the greatest gift heaven can give us on earth. It is worth the sacrifice!

Getting Outside

“On that day, Jesus went out of the house and sat down by the sea. Such large crowds gathered around him that he had to get into a boat and ...