Sunday Readings: Exodus 24.3-8; Hebrews 9.11-15; Mark 14.12-16, 22-26
A colleague who helps primary children prepare for First Communion has a wonderful way to help them understand at their level what eating and drinking Jesus’ body and blood is about. She tells them how much she liked chocolate chip cookies when she was a child like them. In fact, sometimes her mother told her, “You are going to eat so many chocolate chip cookies you will turn into one.”
Her example explains well why we celebrate Sunday’s feast and why we celebrate Eucharist weekly and daily. We gather as the body of Christ to become the body of Christ. We share the body of Christ because as persons and as an assembly we want to turn into the body of Christ — to embody who Jesus is in our world.
The body of Christ that we become through sharing eucharist is an image of the Church, of all of us in communion. Baptism makes us one in Christ as Sister Shawn Copeland describes, extending Galatians 3.28, “In Christ, there is neither brown nor black, neither red nor white; in Christ there is neither Creole nor mestizo, neither senator nor worker in the maquiladoras. In Christ, there is neither male nor female, neither gay/lesbian nor straight, neither heterosexual nor homosexual.”
In gathering for Eucharist, Christians see in one another who they can be, who they can turn into. At Jesus’ table we share the food that fuels us to become his body — Jesus’ feet, hands, eyes, ears, and heart in the world. Participating in this sacrament aims to transform us over our lifetimes. It is the font of Christian community.
As what part of the body of Christ do you think of yourself — feet, hands, eyes, ears, heart?