THE EUCHARIST: THE BREAD OF LIFE
Could we ever have imagined a Banquet Feast where the only food is Love?
Love is there. He, Love in Person, Jesus, He who offers Himself, Sacrifice of the new Covenant.
Let us enter the scene: Jesus at this moment is again giving his entire life as an offering of thanksgiving and of supreme blessing. He gives to his Father the work which He came to earth to do and which He accomplished unto the end. All that remains now is to tear Himself away from his human existence, in bearing unto the end the burden of mortal and sinful humanity in an absolute act of Love, in a gift of self and of thanksgiving. In bearing this sinful humanity in his human nature, He opens the way of humanity to the Father with Him.
To return to the Father, that is the deep signification of what is going to happen, that is the supreme Love which makes of suffering and death a voluntary offering and not a punishment, a sacrifice of thanksgiving and a path towards the Resurrection, towards the plenitude of Life. This return to the Father animates and inspires all the moments from the Last Supper, to his Passion, his death, his Resurrection and, finally, to his Ascension. It is this single sacerdotal act of Christ which continues not only in Heaven, but still on earth in time, wherever the Eucharist is celebrated by those whom He chose as his own and to whom He said:
Do this in memory of me.
1 Corinthians 11:23-25
Who are the guests of this Banquet of Love, those who were sought on the roadside, in ditches, in the obscurity of sin? They are not his servants, for the servant does not know what his Master is doing. Today, he calls them friends, and He clearly reveals to them what he does. In the Upper Room of Jerusalem, they are Twelve, and it is precisely the traitor to whom He will give the first morsel as a sign of his friendship, as if to offer him one last chance.
But there are thousands, there are billions of guests at the Banquet. There are billions, and yet there are only two, for the mathematics of Love are not the mathematics of the reason. At this intimate feast, the Bridegroom has invited his bride so that He can be near her and so she can be near Him. At this wedding Banquet, each one is the only one for the One who invites and gives Himself to the poor, the maim, the blind, the crippled, the paralytics and the weak. All become as if one single Bride, each one, however, is seen as unique. It is as if Jesus says to each one, as He said to his disciples in the Upper Room of Jerusalem:
If you alone had existed in the world,
If I had found no one other than you
When I humbled myself in my Incarnation,
Yes, for you alone I would have prepared this Banquet Feast,
And for you alone I would have offered myself.
I am your Food and I am your Drink.
My burning desire makes me give Myself
At the table where Love is given, surrendered and offered completely.
I am there.
I am waiting for you.
A Monastic Sister