Sunday, February 20, 2011

The Resurrection: Third Eucharist

Last week at mass the idea sprang into my mind that there is a connection between the empty tomb and the consecrated Eucharist. I wasn't sure what that meant because the connection is not immediately obvious. It only became clear after I'd taken some time to meditate about it.

In both cases, there is nothing divine present at first. All we see are the accidents of linen wrappings, of bread and wine. Then suddenly there is more. Suddenly He is present again, present in resurrected Body.

For some moments in the tomb He was there only as an empty shell, a mere husk, a hollow image of His fullness. Then suddenly, in a silent moment like that at the annunciation, the miraculous happens again. The Holy Spirit returns as Animus and the Word is re-made into resurrected, glorified flesh to dwell among us.

At the consecration it happens again. The Holy Spirit acts, carrying the laws of nature beyond their constraints into fulfillment to transform the Word once more into His bodily presence.

I've concluded that this miraculous generation takes place three times in the Gospels.

First at the annunciation, when the Holy Spirit falls upon Mary, and Christ becomes flesh for the first time.

Second, at the last supper, when the Holy Spirit transforms the bread and wine into His Body and Blood. When Jesus initiates the sacrament, and instructs His apostles to Do This in remembrance of Him.

Third, at the Resurrection, when the Holy Spirit re-animates Christ into His new bodily form.

After this, the apostles take over, following Jesus' instructions. And so it continues even now, at each mass, when the Holy Spirit descends again to perform the miraculous transformation.

I am so blessed to be Catholic, to recognize how the central reality of our faith is present through each of these key Gospel accounts and to participate as the blessed Trinity continues to re-present this reality to us at each Eucharist.

Amen credo. Amen credo.

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