Invite Us, Lord, Back To Your Table!
Once I thought it was only a symbol, that by looking at it I might know in part who Christ is. I thought it a great scandal when I heard it was truly the flesh of Christ.
I had thought it impossible that earthly creatures might consume bread and wine transformed into the Body and Blood of the Saviour.
I thought it unfathomable that a sacrifice upon a cross would bring together heaven and earth, and I thought myself unworthy of approaching that ordained minister to receive Holy Communion.
But now I think it necessary for my journey to God and his dwelling place.
As many churches remain closed or heavily restricted in the numbers that may be admitted, I imagine that for most of us attending Mass, if at all possible, is a bit of a roll of the dice.
On the one hand, it is comforting that we may now participate in the Eucharist, albeit under severe restrictions.
On the other hand, I think many of us are wrestling with the idea of walking into a church and sharing oxygen with other people.
Some parishes have remedied this with “drive-thru” Communion; also known as (perhaps rather awkwardly) “Jesus on wheels”.
I’m quite uneasy about this solution, but I must admit that I have great admiration for those who receive Communion in this way, as it requires greater effort to have reverence.
But, it must be said, what once was a place to adore the Blessed Sacrament is now a place of fear of contracting a potentially lethal disease.
Our minds become trains of thought speeding through doubt, confusion and suspicion. What if I am unknowingly carrying a mutated version of the virus? I feel okay but I have a slight cough. Maybe it’s just a cold? Or maybe I’m sick; perhaps very sick? I think I should stay home. No, I should rejoin the human race and get my personality back. But then I could get sick and make others sick.
Sigh, how did we get here?
Once it was too easy
Despite the storms in my mind, occasionally the clouds clear and I am made aware of my need for the Eucharist.
I suppose before all the chaos, I had taken it for granted how central it was to my relationship with God.
Too easy it was to pass by a church and go for adoration, to walk in nonchalantly in the knowledge that it would always be there.
Too easy it was to genuflect before the tabernacle and mumble my Mass intentions to the Lord.
Too easy it was to daydream of one day striking it rich while the lector was reading.
Too easy it was to doze off during the homily and return my sharp focus when it was time for the consecration.
Too easy it was to walk away after the final blessing without contemplating what had just taken place.
These and many other trespasses—too easy it was indeed.
The catechism describes the Eucharist as a “sacrament of love, a sign of unity, a bond of charity, a Paschal banquet in which Christ is consumed, the mind is filled with grace and a pledge of future glory is given to us”.
I hope that in this time, when we all feel a big hole growing in our hearts, God will draw us to himself.
Invite us again, Lord, to that sacred celebration. Look upon us with favour and unite ourselves with you through the Blood of the Saviour.