- Rick Akins
A Lenten Challenge to Grow in Our Understanding of the Eucharist
Excerpt from Challenged to Grow, New City Press.
"That, I believe, is why Christ saved for himself a way to touch each of us physically down through the ages. We really are his friends and love
d ones and children, just as John and Peter and Andrew were. Could he would want our relationship with him to be any less than he had with them?
In receiving the physical Body and Blood in the Eucharist, we are saying to our best friend, 'Yes, I accept your request for a hug, a kiss on the cheek, and a hearty slap on the back'.
Jesus sees us, right now, in the same way he saw his first Apostles. As he shared friendship with them, spiritually (for us now through the Holy Spirit), and through dialog and conversation (for us now through the Bible and our prayer life), he also shared himself physically with them and now also begs us for this same level of interaction through Holy Communion.
We are given the same glorious opportunity John enjoyed at the Last Supper, to be with Jesus, to lay our heads upon his chest, to share the bread and wine of a meal with our very God and Savior. To share in what John encountered, to be literally sprinkled with the physical blood of Christ lifted up on the Cross.
So, the answer to the question – ‘what about those times I don’t feel a benefit of receiving the Eucharist?’ is simply this. It is not about me. It is about Jesus. It is HE who WANTS a physical relationship with ME, just as he had with this Apostles. It is HE who rushed to us at each Mass with arms opened wide, seeking for his friends.
Can we, as Christians, deny him? Can we, as his friends, say 'no thanks?'"