The Lord Jesus, on the night he was betrayed, took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and said, “This is my body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of me.” In the same way, after supper he took the cup, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood; do this, whenever you drink it, in remembrance of me."
– 1 Corinthians 11:23-25
Last year, I was speaking at a retreat for young adults called “Speak To Me Retreat” at Old Oak Ranch. On the last morning, we partook in Communion together. Honestly, before that day, Communion was nothing more that a very shallow religious act to me. I’ve “known” the theology behind it and heard countless people give me an endless list of meaningfulness about it since growing up as a Pastor’s Kid, but it was never a personal or intimate experience.
One of the many gifts I’ve received from having such close friends in the Catholic Church and faith has been to see their reverence for the Eucharist (their term for what Protestants call Communion). I wanted that! It is true that, for some, it’s a bit superstitious or magical, but for those whom I’ve had the pleasure to know, it is a truly personal and intimate spiritual practice and exercise.
While I was at the Speak To Me Retreat, I really began praying about this. “Why is this meaningful? How does this matter?” It struck me after a few minutes of sitting and praying that this is a symbolic act of fully taking in an image of God that is broken, beaten, wounded, weak, dying, and yet, eternally giving and loving. Amazing!
If I were to mentally, physically, and spiritually take in and consume this dimension of God’s presence regularly, I would be consumed by it, in the most wonderful way. It is the act of accepting and allowing God to give Himself to me, not only as a “conquerer of death,” but as One who is broken and dying and still worth loving and being in awe of. I believe it is how we should be treating dying and suffering people as well.