50 days with KJS: Day 3

Day 3: Collective Memory

{Mark 22-25}

That  section of The Gospel of Mark is my favorite  of all the stories in which Our Lord institutes the Lord’s Supper.  Jesus says:

“While they were eating he { Jesus} took a piece of bread, and after blessing it, broke it, have it to them & said ‘Take, eat this is my body. Then he took a cup, & after giving thanks he gave it to them and all of them drank from it. He said to them ‘ This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many….”

 Bishop Katharine, in today’s sermonette sermonette, says that the verb ” to remember” has a far deeper meaning for we Christians.  She says that by the act of gathering together at the Table to receive Eucharist we  ” re-member” all of Christ’s Body.  Think about it. When we come forward to receive Eucharist, we Catholic Christians kneel or stand beside our siblings-in-Christ who can hold different world views, be of another race or sexual orientation,  be well-off or in financial need, both male & female, young children  & the elderly.

SHe says that  the sacramental act of gathering at the Communion table for Eucharist is an act  in which we see a glimpse of  ” Shalom. I agree with her .   My former Protestant tradition  only celebrates Communion   sporadically & they do * not* believe in the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist as we do{ therefore, dear low-Church friends, we Anglican Christians are NOT PROTESTANT! But that discussion is neither here nor there}

Bishop Katharine says

” Remembering is about the truths of our faith as well as making the possibilities real now  in the future.”

 When we go forward to receive Eucharist, we  become part of something that is so much bigger than any of us, or even our Church.  At choir practice on Wednesday evening my parish choir practiced a gorgeous  hymn  entitled _ In Remembrance of Me_  The words  are something like this

” In remembrance of Me/ feed the poor/ In remembrance of Me/ heal the sick”

 As Christians of any  denomination, we are called to live out our faith  by helping those who  are needy.  Someone { and I cannot remember who} once told me that the word Eucharist  comes from the Greek word for THANKSGIVING.  THis same person also  said that we are not only called to  receive Eucharist on a regular basis but also to BE Eucharist.

 As the  effects of the floods in Tennessee continue to  spread heartbreak among the people there, as the looming oil spill  creeps closer to US Gulf beaches, as millions of Americans  deal with the reality of an economic  downturn, let us re-member that we are all welcome at God’s Table, even & perhaps especially those who  feel hopeless , alone or despondent.

Amen.

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