The next window in our series depicts the vessels for Holy Communion. The gifts of Jesus’ body and blood are given to us and for us to assure us that our sins are forgiven and that life and salvation are celebrated in and through our lives. The original term for this gift is the “Eucharist,” a Greek word meaning “to give thanks.” We are truly thankful for these gifts; for the continued strengthening in faith and life as we receive our Lord’s body and blood, and for being kept in God’s grace and peace throughout all the days of our lives. There is nothing ordinary about these gifts.
How could there be anything ordinary as we come together weekly around the table of our Lord for this extraordinary gift of life? I remember that someone once said to me that communion shouldn’t be shared weekly – it’s too special, and it would get too “ordinary.” I wonder if he was thinking of my Grandmother’s dishes. We would only use the “good stuff” on special occasions and celebrations in the fear of chipping or breaking the plates. Even when we were careful, the unfortunate accident would happen. But the consequence of this practice was that we rarely used these beautiful dishes out of fear.
The Eucharist is not the same. It shouldn’t be held back in fear that it would become ordinary, chipped or broken. The promise of God is unbreakable and doesn’t wear out, and our celebration of the gifts of Jesus’ love and life for us should never be held back. The effect would be like withholding the news form others of your newfound love or of the greatest joy your life. You could expend more energy and frustration in trying to keep it in, than experiencing the ecstasy of sharing this wonderful experience.
And so you are invited to this feast – a morsel of bread and a sip of wine, but nevertheless a feast – of God’s love and life FOR YOU. There is nothing ordinary here. An experience of letting God feed us with Word and Sacrament, keeping us in faith and life, and strengthening the unity we share as brothers and sisters in Christ is not ordinary. Come to the feast of life – Jesus invites you and has set the table. Nothing ordinary about this meal. Thanks be to God!