We are often moved to tears when we see images of a flag-draped coffin bringing home the body of someone who has given his or her life for our country. Such total self-giving can’t help but move us. Today’s feast is an annual reminder of Jesus’ constant gift of his very life, his very Body and Blood, given for us.
What is the Body and Blood Jesus gives us to eat and drink? His very self under the appearances of bread and wine, blessed and given to us as an outpouring of his immeasurable and enduring love. But there is more. Through our sharing in the Eucharist, Jesus blesses and gives us to a world in need of healing, nourishment and new life. Called to the table of the Lord, we are blessed, broken, given, transformed by Jesus so that we become life-giving bread and saving cup for the world.
We experience this transformation when we lay down the frenetic pace of everyday living and take time to see and appreciate the good person Christ has nourished us to be. We experience this transformation when we pour out ourselves to bring hot chicken soup to a neighbor who is alone and sick. While Eucharist is the most marvelous and precious gift God gives, it moves us to be Christ in the most ordinary situations in life. We are called to be life- giving bread and saving cup for others.
As we share in the Eucharist, we surrender ourselves to be a Passover Lamb for our world today. For the most part we don’t need to look for opportunities for total self-giving; the circumstances of daily life generously present themselves. The difference is that followers of Christ see self-giving not in terms of an inconvenience but as a means to fullness of life. Jesus’ self-giving is taken up by his disciples as a pledge of the fullness of life God offers us.