Tuesday, August 14, 2012

A Lean Meal

The Eucharist is not just bread and wine; it becomes body and blood; not just body and blood, but broken body and spilled blood; and not just broken body and spilled blood; but the resurrected, glorified body of the Risen Lord.  The bread we eat is not the body of the dead Jesus, but the resurrected Jesus; there is a distinction.

The Israelites in Exodus weren't just acting like spiteful children, always threatening their preference to go back to Egypt, just to get a rise out of God.  They were in such despair and at a point of real hunger and starvation that cruel slavery seemed a better option and this is the point the Lord feeds them.

There is a lot of dying we must do to fully access the power of the resurrection that is present in the Eucharist.  We must be that hungry and that poor.  In an American culture of over-indulgence and every meal suggesting abundance, lavish excess of food and drink, it is easy to also see the Eucharist as a luxury meal with the expectations of a nourishment leaving us feeling fat, full, content, and satisfied.

However, the Eucharist's sacrificial aspect also implies that we come hungry to the table and instead leave with a heart broken by the passion of God and a little lean with just enough food for the journey (taking nothing extra) and just enough strength for the day (spoilt manna) - our daily bread.

(paraphrase from "bread for the journey")

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