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WEBSTER: Eucharist / noun

The Christian ceremony commemorating the Last Supper, in which bread and wine are consecrated and consumed.    The consecrated elements, especially the bread.

The bread and wine are referred to as the body and blood of Christ, though much theological controversy has focused on how substantially or symbolically this is to be interpreted. The service of worship is also called Holy Communion or (chiefly in the Protestant tradition) the Lord’s Supper or (chiefly in the Catholic tradition) the Mass or (chiefly in the Eastern Orthodox tradition) the Divine Liturgy. See also: consubstantiation (the doctrine, esp. in Lutheran belief, that the substance of the bread and wine coexists with the body and blood of Christ in the Eucharist.), and transubstantiation (esp. in the Roman Catholic Church, the conversion of the substance of the Eucharistic elements into the body and blood of Christ at consecration, only the appearances of bread and wine still remaining.)


Eucharistic |ˌyo͞okəˈristik|adjective,

Eucharistical |ˌyo͞okəˈristikəl|adjective

ORIGIN late Middle English: from Old French eucariste, based on ecclesiastical Greek eukharistia ‘thanksgiving,’ from Greek eukharistos ‘grateful,’ from eu ‘well’ + kharizesthai ‘offer graciously’ (from kharis ‘grace’).

The central symbol of the Church is the Eucharist.  The Church keeps giving the bread of Jesus and saying, ‘This is who you are, you become what you eat.  You are more than the many.  You are one, but you are broken.”  That is the mystery we constantly celebrate and try to understand.

I don’t think you become Catholic (Protestant, Denominational, Spirit-Filled, Pentecostal or any other ‘ism’ or ‘ite’) to get mystical, to get metaphysical, to get transcendent, to achieve some kind of nirvana.  That might be Buddhist or Hindu holiness, it might be some of the sects and groups today who remind me of unidentified flying objects.  That’s not the traditional understanding of the Church.

The traditional understanding of the Church, at it’s best, does not emphasize how to get you into the skies, but how to get your feet on the ground, how to get in touch with the real.  Truly the Church tells us how to get into society, into history, tied to the common good, how to be part of the muddiness and fleshiness of it all.  We eat the body of Christ; we don’t just reflect on his ideas.  That’s primal, archetypal, transformative energy.”    

Richard Rohr


Jesus didn’t really lay down that many imperatives.   But what he did that night when he took the cup, broke the bread and shared the significance of it with his mates (the first of us), has been the source of our greatest condemnation and criticism with each other… maybe only surpassed by how we handle baptism.

Maybe if we tried to understand more of what we’ve learned, and dug in less, our appreciation for what we have now would mean more to all of us.  How can having a greater understanding, a deeper appreciation, or receiving more of Jesus be a bad thing for any of us?

We capture a butterfly and stake our claim on knowledge of the entire insect world.

How do we really allow this holy mystery to be our common-union?

“We become what we eat.”   Bread and poured out wine.  God, I love that!  Lord, give us the faith to believe for more!


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