Maundy Thursday 2021

Reflection for Maundy Thursday

On the night that he was betrayed, Jesus took bread and gave thanks.
This is my body, he said, given for you.
He then took the wine and once again gave thanks.
This is my blood of the new covenant, he said. Eat, drink, in remembrance of me.

“Through your goodness we have this bread and wine to offer,”
we say in preparation of the Eucharist, “which earth has given, and is fruit of the vine.”
Jesus chose the things of the earth to seal his ongoing relationship with his disciples.
The ordinary, everyday, things of creation.
“Everything in heaven and on earth are yours,” we say, “of your own do we give you.”

Oh the debates that have gone on in the church through the ages,
as to the nature of bread and wine at holy communion.
Is it literally his body and blood, is it metaphorical,
is it happening now, or is it just about remembering?
Nothing has divided the church more, than what we believe about Holy Communion.
We even get worked up about what type of bread and wine we should use!

For me, Jesus was using bread and wine to represent the whole fruit of creation;
he was telling his disciples that he was with them in the ordinary everyday substance of life. In the beautiful, the mundane, the sweet, the sour, the colourful, the plain;
that through his Holy Spirit he was part of life, and so were they.
Which means that every moment is a holy moment, a potential for Holy Communion.
We do not just celebrate the Eucharist, we live the Eucharist.

I remember once being told that you should not be allowed to receive holy communion
without a lot of preparation to help you understand what it is you are doing.
Jesus simply said eat, drink, this is my body, this is my blood, this is my life.
What more do you need to understand?

Once we keep it simple we will experience holy communion on a daily basis.
What Jesus was telling us is that the whole of life is holy communion.
Christ is part of you and me, part of every plant, every bird, every animal,
every seed, every patch of dirt, every blade of grass and every grain of sand.

Everything is his body, his blood, his life. Life is a participation in the life of God.
O what a gift he was giving us on that Holy evening at the Last Supper,
which also became the First Supper.
A new beginning to his relationship with his followers.

That is not to say that holy communion in church is not special and important in itself.
It is. It is, because in it Jesus is reminding us again and again
that the whole of life is a sacrament of God’s holy presence.

In the last year many have been deprived of holy communion in church,
but not holy communion with God.
Eucharist is at the heart of every moment of life.
We simply have to learn to receive, rejoice, and be thankful.