Invited to the Banquet of
the Word and the Bread
Jesus did not leave us a statue, a photograph, a relic. He wanted to continue to be present among his disciples as nourishment. The food is not placed on the table to be contemplated, but to be consumed. Christians who go to Mass, but not receive Holy Communion, should be aware that they are not participating fully in the Eucharistic celebration.
The food becomes part of ourselves. By eating the body and drinking the blood of Christ we accept his invitation to identify ourselves with him. We say to God and to the community that we intend to form a single body with Christ; we wish to assimilate his gesture of love and we want to give our lives to the brothers and sisters, as he did. We don’t do this challenging choice alone but together with a whole community. The Eucharist is not a food to be consumed in solitude: it is bread broken and shared between brothers and sisters. It is not conceivable that, on the one hand, a gesture is placed that indicates unity, sharing, equality, reciprocal giving and οn the other the perpetuation of conflicts, hatreds, jealousies, hoarding of goods, overpowering is tolerated. A community that celebrates the rite of the “breaking of bread” in these unworthy conditions eats and drinks—as Paul recalls—his own condemnation (1 Cor 11:28-29). It is a community that turns the sacrament into a lie. It is like a girl who, smiling, accepted from her boyfriend the ring, symbol of an indissoluble bond of love and, at the same time, betrays him with other lovers.
To internalize the message, we repeat:
“The Eucharist makes me attentive to all forms of hunger of the brothers and sisters: hunger for bread, hunger for love, hunger for understanding, hunger for forgiveness and above all hunger for God.”