Monday, July 17, 2006

The Body of Christ

It helps to understand that the bread and wine used in the Eucharist is my bread and wine. As I already mentioned, in the early church it was customary that everybody brought a piece of bread to the Service.

It is my bread and wine that is turned into the body and blood of Christ. It is not something that I am a only a witness to, it is something that involves me directly. This is why I feel it is helpful to speak of a transformation in the Eucharist. The point really is that something changes.

A friend of mine taught me this (if anyone know where he got it from I'd be happy, although I may have modified the original idea): The bread and the wine represents, respectively, my work and my play, my seriousness and my joy. When I bring my bread and my wine to the altar, and break the bread, the Spirit descends on it and turns it into the Body and Blood of Christ. The Spirit changes its meaning. In the Eucharist my whole life (not just the serious part, but also all that stuff I do for joy only) into something meaningful. It is as if God takes my life looks at it, smiles and gives it back to me with approval.

Of course, when my work and my play is turned into the Body of Christ it also becomes the Church. I realize that my work and play becomes meaningful only when I recognize how it relates to other people. By itself it lacks spirit.

The Church, then, is the community of persons that want to see their lives connected to other persons. The Eucharist is there to help us recognize that our lives really are holy, to help us overcome sin by recognizing who we really are.


Anonymous said...

Actually that is theologically incorrect. At this point in the apostolic divine liturgies the bread and wine have been presented and are now His. So a better understanding would be His bread and His wine.

Patrik said...

Depends what you mean with "my"... It is still originally "mine" even if "I" have given it to "Him".