The Eucharist Part II – Preparing for the Great gift in the Bible

When Adam and Eve sinned, the Lord God wasted no time beginning to repair the relationships between Adam and Eve as individuals; Adam and Eve as a couple; the couple and the Lord God and the couple with all of creation. This is symbolized in God’s action of making leather garments for them to wear. He continues to repair the relationships which eventually culminates in him sending his Son our Lord Jesus Christ into the world as truly Man and truly God. As the Lord God walked amongst Adam and Eve and had conversations with them, the Lord wanted to go beyond that level of intimacy and so he gives us his Son our Lord Jesus Christ in the Eucharist where we are invited to consume him, body, blood, soul and divinity; we are invited to become more like the one we consume.

Abraham, our Father in Faith is the one whom the Lord God calls to be the Father of Israel and our Father in Faith. Sometime after Abraham’s Son, Isaac was born, the Lord God told Abraham to sacrifice his son. So, Abraham, being the Father of Faith, placed wood on his son’s shoulders and lead him up a mountain. Just as he was about to sacrifice his son on the wood, the Lord God stopped him and said not to harm him. So, Abraham offered up a ram as a thanksgiving sacrifice for the life of Isaac. In reality, our Father in Heaven would place the wood on the shoulders of his own Son who would carry the wood up the hill of Calvary and be sacrificed for us. The story of Abraham and Isaac prefigures this reality. Remember, when we are at the Eucharist, we are with our infinite God who is beyond time. He is the “eternal now.” Because of this, we are able to stand at the foot of the cross at Calvary, be at the place we are receiving Eucharist, and at the Eternal Banquet in the Messianic Kingdom. Who can say Mass is boring, when we are truly involved in time travel – and in three places in time all at once?

Moses is called to free the Lord’s chosen people, Israel, from slavery in Egypt. This is a real story that plays out in real time and is a spiritual reality of God’s great desire to free us, his chosen people, from the slavery of sin. While in the desert, the Lord God feeds his people first with quail and then with food from heaven, manna. The people are able to gather this bread-like food every day and twice as much the day before the Sabbath so as to not do extra work on the Sabbath. This food from heaven is a prefiguring of the Eucharist. The Eucharist is food from heaven (Jesus) given to us (body, blood, soul and divinity) so He may lead us on our journey (throughout this life and into the next.) As The Lord God was leading them through the desert to help them become more his chosen people, so in the same way, we allow him to lead us through this journey of life to become more who he calls us to be. With the help of the graces that comes from the sacrament of the Eucharist, we can do that more faithfully and completely.

In the New Testament, there is one miracle that is recorded in each of the Four Gospels. And one might think that would be the institution narrative where Jesus takes the bread and wine and says ‘take this all of you and eat of it”; “take this all of you and drink from it.” However, this is not found in The Gospel of John. He replaces this miracle with the Bread of Life Discourse found in chapter 6. Actually, the miracle that is recorded in all four Gospels is the feeding of the crowds with a few loaves and fish. You’ve heard it before that this miracle would not have made it into one of the Gospel accounts if all Jesus did was have his disciples walk through the crowds and ask them to share everything they brought with them. Or, that would have been alluded to when in Acts of the Apostles, people brought their earnings and gave them to the disciples for them to distribute so everyone had enough. It is shared in all four Gospels because it is the prefiguration of the Eucharist. Jesus shows us He is capable of feeding each of us every day in a miraculous way. There is no reason to share this miracle except to point us to the even greater miracle. Jesus himself is the nourishment that will sustain us after we hear his word. He fed them after they listened to him preach; he preached on the scriptures that were written at the time; At Mass, we receive Eucharist after we hear the scriptures and hear the preaching. He fed them before he sent them away. At Mass, He feeds us before He sends us away. However, at Mass, we are sent with a mission; to give him away in the way we live our lives now that we have him within us in the Eucharist. We are a Eucharistic people on a journey. Stay tuned for next weekend for another bulletin front lesson on the Eucharist.