Usually I keep my eyes closed before communion. I love the peace, the stillness, the intimacy of that space. But one morning not long ago, I lifted my eyes and watched as my brothers and sisters came forward, one after another, and received Jesus. To each one Fr. George proclaimed, “the Body of Christ”, “the Body of Christ”, “the Body of Christ,” and the double meaning of that confession filled my heart – the Real Presence of Jesus in the bread, and the Real Presence of Jesus in His people.
When I served as a Eucharistic minister, I was reminded of this truth every week. Unworthy as we are, we become Christ’s Body because He desires us and poured out His life for us. In recent years this corporate dimension of communion had receded a bit in my personal meditations, but it came rushing back the morning I lifted my eyes. Suddenly I felt stricken, sick with grief, as it dawned on me what violence we do our Savior, what violence I have done Him, by entertaining envy or contempt for fellow members of His Body. The Son of God humbles Himself to become food for all who will come. The least I can do is pray that His joy be made full in each one to whom He gives Himself.
Jesus, that is what I desire for You – that You be glorified in each of Your members. I pray that every brother and sister who receives the Bread of Your Body will drink deeply of the Holy Spirit and bear Your glory. I know that when Your Body is made whole, I also will be healed.