In order for us to stay alive, every cell in our body needs to be bathed with the blood that nourishes, cleanses, and purifies our system. Similarly, taking the Blood of Christ in Communion will bring us to full spiritual vitality. It will strengthen and cleanse our entire being—spiritually and even physically, if it be God’s will.
The One we take upon our lips and into our bodies in the Eucharist is the same Jesus who raised Lazarus and healed the man born blind. Do we think about this enough? At Communion we receive Jesus, the risen Lord who will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead. Do we come to him with faith that he can totally transform and heal us? When I go to Communion, I’m conscious of the spiritual sickness in my life and sometimes of physical needs, and I ask Jesus to heal and change me. I beg him not to let me walk out of church the same person as I walked in.
In every culture I know, sharing a meal with someone is a way of expressing and deepening a relational bond. The Eucharist does this in a way no other meal can. We eat with God, he gives himself as our food, and we’re transformed into him. When we receive him and consume him under these signs of bread and wine, we become him. What intimacy! What mystery!
The Eucharist is a great deal. Consider the exchange we’re invited to make. We come forward, put our humble gifts on the altar—our little sacrifices, imperfect good works, our need and brokenness—and what do we get back in return? We receive the Lord’s own life, bursting with power to heal and transform us.
In the Eucharist Jesus holds absolutely nothing back from us. He gives us his entire self. May we, in the Eucharist, learn to return the favor and give him both everything we have and everything we are.
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