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Saturday, June 25, 2011



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We can understand the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ through different perspectives or theologies just like looking at a diamond in its different facets and still we cannot grasp fully its grandeur and beauty.  I wish to invite you to look at the Eucharist in the perspective of SACRIFICIAL BANQUET.
          In our next meal, before we eat, let’s take a look at the food on our plates.  Maybe there will be meat, fish, rice or bread, veggies and other stuff there.  All of them were once living creatures yet they gave up their lives to be our food to nourish us.  Maybe most of us will say “that’s what they’re here for.”  Without them knowing it, their lives were sacrificed so we can eat and grow and continue living.
          Now let’s take a look at the two powerful symbols used in the Eucharist: the bread and wine. The bread comes from many thousands of grain of wheat which were ground into flour; in the same manner the wine comes from many grapes crushed into juice.  In a symbolic sense, the grains and grapes have to give up their individual lives to become part of a transformation that requires death and sacrifice.  Not only that, the wheat has to pass through fire and the juice has to pass fermentation, again symbolic of yet another stage of death and sacrifice. Once they become bread and wine, their highest level of sacrifice happens when they have to give up their being bread and wine to become the Flesh and Blood of the God who created them.  In a sense, their sacrificial act of dying to themselves is given the ultimate reward ever given to any created being.
          Jesus’ flesh and blood were ground and crushed just like the grains and the grapes and passed through the summit of sacrifice on the cross in order to become real food and drink.  The word sacrifice comes from two Latin words sacra (which means “sacred”) and facere (which means “to make”).  Literally a sacrifice is an act of offering something to a deity who transforms the thing being offered which becomes sacred.  Jesus who is our High Priest did not offer anything other than his whole being on the altar of the cross.  It was the Father who accepted the offering of his Son and made it sacred.  Jesus offered his body on the cross and the Father transformed it into a transcended and transfigured body as a sign of his acceptance.   It was not just accepted by the Father but was given back to the people who murdered His Son to be their food.
          Whenever we gather as God’s people in the Eucharistic table, we partake in the fellowship which is a foretaste of the heavenly banquet.  Here when we break bread together, just like from many grains, we are invited to be crushed and die to ourselves just like the sacrifice we celebrate.  So the Eucharist is not just a celebration where we feed our hungry souls with the bread from heaven but we celebrate our own death and resurrection with the Paschal Mystery of Jesus.  In the Eucharist, we just do not become what we eat, we are sanctified because we become the sacrifice we offer.   In the Eucharist, eternal life starts here and now.

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