This is My Body: This is My Blood

"This is my body; this is my blood." Through these words of Jesus, God, in a mad act of love, gives us his very self to delight in, to carry within us on our long journey home; our frightening journey out of bondage to the pharaohs of our own making, to the full blossoming of our personhood; and the completion of the great mystery of our life-journey in and with Christ.  We cannot help but feel reluctant, even as God delivers on the promise of a new tomorrow.  We are like the Israelites, moving stubbornly through the desert, sun-burnt and groaning at our lack of bread and water. 

We may feel besieged by those faults we can't seem to conquer. Perhaps during these forty days we haven't fasted as we ought, or we have allowed the busyness of our lives interfere with the renewed commitment to prayer and almsgiving that we resolved to deepen on Ash Wednesday; or perhaps there is some aspect of our lives that, despite our most fervent prayers, remains a complete mess.  Nevertheless, like the Israelites we journey on illumined by faith in the divine ration we bear within us, knowing that it is in some inexplicable way the mysterious presence, here and now, of the very reality toward which we journey. 

Tonight, as we reach the other side of our Lenten desert, conscious of the ways in which we yet experience our captivity to the pharaohs of our own making, let us approach the Lord's final supper with open hearts and minds as we once more hear him speak these words: "This is my body, this is my blood," and let those words, spoken for both the first and yet another of countless times at tonight's Liturgy, yet again draw us back into the Mystery of the Triduum, the very core of our faith and of our very existence, whether we have fasted and prayed well or not.  And even if it seems to us that we still experience, in some hidden corner of our minds, the pursuit of pharaoh's soldiers, let us remember the divine ration of flesh and blood we have been generously given, and know that our Passover is at hand.