Word for the day by Christian Education Forum
Holy Communion: Celebration of Salvation
Vs 22 While they were eating, he took a loaf of bread, and after blessing it he broke it, gave it to them, and said, “Take; this is my body.”
As a pastor to my parish, I cherish the opportunities of sharing a meal with parish members at the parsonage or in their homes. In the Indian culture, sharing a meal is not only a mark of hospitality but also an invitation to a closer relationship. It is an invitation to partake in the life of that person or family who shares the meal.
In today’s reading, Jesus shares the Passover meal with his disciples. This would be his last meal with his disciples. For Jesus, it is a solemn occasion that should be meaningful to his disciples then, and a message to his Church in the future. With this supper, Jesus institutes the Holy Communion for the Church to follow.
Every Holy Communion is a new opportunity for us to experience God. In the passage, we see Jesus sharing the bread and the wine as his own body and blood. He is sharing himself, his life and ministry, with the disciples. He is not sharing the food as a master giving food to his slaves, but rather as a friend sharing with his honored guests. This meal is an invitation to experience Jesus. It carries his love and grace with which he gave himself for the salvation of all creation.
Today each Holy Communion is an opportunity to experience God – to experience his love and grace and his living presence in our lives. At the Communion table, we experience the living presence of God through the ministry of the Word and the Sacrament. In the ministry of the Word, various Bible portions are read and the sermon is shared. It reminds us of God’s salvation revealed in his Word. During the Ministry of the Sacrament, the Eucharistic elements – the bread and the wine is shared. That Communion makes us to remember and relive Christ’s presence in our lives.
What a tremendous grace it is that Jesus prepares the Communion meal for us to be partakers with him! When we come to the Holy Communion service, do we come with preparation and expectation to experience God? Surely, during these days of the pandemic, we really miss the gathering together for worship and the experience of the Holy Communion. That should make us realize how precious each opportunity to gather for Holy Communion is. As we wait for churches to re-open and for the experience of Holy Communion, let us pledge ourselves to follow the example of the one who gave himself up for the world by saying the words, “Take eat, this is my body given for you…”
Dear Lord, You gave Yourself up for the world; help me to dedicate myself to Your will, Amen.
THOUGHT FOR THE DAY
As two pieces of wax fused together make one, so he who receives Holy Communion is united with Christ, that Christ is in him and he is in Christ.
- Cyril of Alexandria
Rev. Thomas John, Carmel MTC, Boston
Christian Education Forum, Diocese of NAE of the Mar Thoma Church