The first gift of the Eucharist is the gift of life in Christ. In the Eucharist the resurrected Christ is really present. We need not be detained by intricate theories of how Christ’s real presence is in our midst at the Eucharist. First and finally, it is important—as the country singer Iris Dement has put it—to “let the mystery be.” And the mystery is that in Eucharist we partake of the body and blood of Christ. The body and blood are the very life of Christ, and they grant us life. We are made whole by the broken body of the Lord. The Eucharist also assures us that Christ has conquered death and so gives us the courage to face our own deaths. Encompassing life and death, the life of Christ given us in the Eucharist is the basis of all our being and of all our own giving.
The second gift of the Eucharist is the gift of ourselves. At the beginning of the Eucharist, the elements of bread and wine, as well as our monetary offerings, are carried to the altar. Bread and wine are the result of human planting, cultivation and harvesting—in other words, they are the result of work. They represent all human work. The Eucharist sanctifies our work and gives us ourselves in all the variety of our endeavors, as students, professors, businesspersons, teachers, publishers and therapists. The Eucharist encompasses and enlivens all these lines of work. It gives us ourselves in Christ. And out of selves so generously given, we in turn may give generously.
The third gift of the Eucharist is the gift of one another. By partaking of the body of Christ, we become the body of Christ. Our circular altar rail allows us to surround the altar and to see one another as we partake of the bread and the wine. We see one another in all our variety, of sexes and races and ages. And we are gathered around the altar to become one. There is more: we become one with others outside our community who also partake of the Eucharist. And so in the Eucharist we are one with Christians around the country and around the world—not least, for St. Barnabas members, with brothers and sisters in our companion diocese of Renk, in the Sudan."
I ache, I yearn, I seek, I thirst, I burn
For the company of yet another.
Then, inexplicably, I pray, I turn
Away to God; I yield to my Father.
I then listen, headphones plugged in. Music
Drowns out my distractions and my sorrow
Sun then comforts, reassures; her lyrics -
'A new rainbow out tomorrow.'
I’m not alone, there are dozens out there;
They all suffer same just like yours truly.
Then promising, no matter how or where
Within this universe, you’ve loved deeply.
I am adored, I am in an embrace
I stand firm, resolutely in His Grace.
Rachel Tan, 21 February 2013