For many, the pandemic has meant a rupture in our ability to participate fully in the Sacrament of the Eucharist. We long to gather in community in our church buildings, to pass the peace, and to receive the bread and wine. The year-long lack of this ritual – which is at the heart of our faith – has been palpable, painful. And yet, we believe that God is at work, even in this experience of longing and absence. As we discover how we can gather and worship as the Church in the shifting circumstances of these challenging times, we are also invited to discover new ways to receive Christ in the Eucharist and to carry his message of love into the world.
By virtue of our Baptism, we are ushered into the household of God, the Church. We are one Body in Christ Jesus. This week, as you join us (or another virtual congregation) for the celebration of the Holy Eucharist, pick one of the people who is receiving the elements, and allow them to receive for you. Our willingness and desire to receive Jesus in the Sacrament are enough. As you partake in spiritual communion, pray that you will be nourished, sustained, and transformed by this sacred act of communion, which transcends material limitations.
In the Eucharist, we act out sacramentally the remembrance of Jesus’ sacrifice. We are called to enact this in the world, by laying down our lives for one another. Think of what you have sacrificed over this year. Make this “laying down of your life” a eucharistic offering to God.
Br. Jim recalls the story of Emmaus, in which two disciples, mourning their Lord, are surprised to discover that Jesus has been with them all long. How have you been surprised to meet Jesus during this time of longing and lack? How have you met him in the breaking of the bread?
We believe that Jesus is making all things new, even in the midst of the chaos and destruction of this pandemic. While we cannot yet see over the hill, we trust that he is at work, transfiguring this situation. How is this true in your own life right now? Where is God at work, bringing life out of death?
Silent Prayer before the Sacrament | Join us Thursdays in Lent, from 5:15-5:45pm EST for a time of silent prayer before the Blessed Sacrament. Catch the live-stream at SSJE.org/chapel or on the Friends of SSJE Facebook page.
Facebook Live | Join Br. Jim Woodrum on Facebook each Thursday at 7:15pm EST for a live conversation on the week's topic with a special guest. We hope to see you there!