THE BODY AND BLOOD OF CHRIST
exodus 24:3-8; hebrews 9:11-15; mark 14:12-16, 22-26
some years ago, some theology students, during a break from class, were standing at the entrance of their college of theology. a woman, dishevelled and visibly distraught, came running and pleaded with them to save her. she had escaped from a nearby quarry where she was a bonded labourer; she had been beaten and branded. incredibly, her «master» was a devout catholic who came for the eucharist every sunday; he was esteemed in the church and a noted philanthropist.
this is an extreme case but it is indicative of the disconnect between our worship and our life as if the LORD of the eucharist were different from the LORD of life!
yet scripture and tradition are clear that worship and life must be related, and the gospel indicates likewise.
first, the last supper was not something that happened by chance or in isolation. it was part of the passover meal... the most important jewish celebration. further, mark tells us that JESUS took the bread «while they were eating». in its original form, the eucharist had a place in people’s ordinary lives.
second, at the last supper, JESUS gave his disciples his body and blood. he gave himself! this was a continuation of what he had done right through his public ministry; and a prelude to what he would do at calvary.
third, soon after JESUS gave his disciples the bread and the cup, «they went out to the mount of olives»... to resolutely complete his mission.
we need to link what happens at the eucharist with the reality of our lives. we need to live the eucharist in our lives.
will i make the eucharist and what it signifies a part of my life? how will i give myself to my brothers and sisters? will i draw strength from the eucharist to carry out my life’s mission?