Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Holy Thursday 2017

       In January, I was riding home with my 16 year old grandson from a very moving Mass at Our Lady of Lourdes Church in Atlanta . . . we’d sung a beautiful song that kept running thru my thoughts.  I asked my grandson for his thoughts about Holy Communion.  After a pause he said he wasn’t sure; what they taught in Sunday school makes it seem ‘like magic’—the priest says some words and poof, the wafer turns in to Jesus—that’s pretty hard to believe.  I agreed.  I asked if he wanted to hear my thoughts on it—he said yes. 
       I said that to me, it was like the words of the song we’d just sung "because we called, you have come".  God is everywhere and in everything.  The Bible quotes Jesus as having said: “When two or more are gathered in my name, I am there in their midst.”  In church as we pray and sing we are calling God to be with us; the ‘Godness’ that is everywhere becomes more concentrated and focused on the host as the priest’s words are said.  Our valuing something makes it MORE than just the thing itself—like a wedding ring or a trophy for winning a tournament—it carries meaning far beyond the metal of which it is made.  So it is with the host. 
       He said he liked that explanation.  Some time later I wrote the following.

                                                       * * *


Because we called,
            You have come . . .

Candles flicker, hands bless,
            words are said . .

Not magic here—
            but mystery profound . . .
a humble offering
            is transformed.

                           There was a long, slow Coming-to-be
                                    --human hands, with hope
                                       planted seeds in the soil
                                    --God blessed the earth
                                       with sun and rain.

                           Seasons, and eons passed
                               as nature gifted humans with harvest
                                    --grapes fat on the vine
                                    --wheat bursting its husks
                                                            and mankind was fed.

Jesus came to tell us of the mystery of God
            we hadn’t yet comprehended:
                        “This is my body,
                        This is my blood”

His words lead us to see that God’s blessings
            have joined with human labor
            in a co-creative offering:
                        --grapes to wine
                        --wheat to bread

Your presence, God,
            steeped in the All
            is called forth.
And because we call,
            You come closer.

Not magic . . .
            but the revelation
            to us, of that which 
            is already there.

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