“I miss it. So much”
I looked at my friend. They were telling me how much they missed taking the emblems of the sacrament. They had been excluded from partaking.
Bread and water. Symbols of flesh and blood. Emblems of Christ which we swallow, take within us, where they mystically transform from vicarious objects into literal sustenance. Our physical and spiritual body receives nourishment from these emblems. These things that are reminders of a being who became us so completely. He felt all we feel, all the complexity, so deeply. He bled.
He did it because he loves us.
Water is the emblem of blood. Living water. To remind us of a life and language that invite us to see that God is here, with us now. The kingdom we build is what we create here, now.
Bread is the emblem of flesh. The bread of life, from a living being. Flesh that moves to come to us. Body that sits among those who are alone, rejected, seen as unworthy. Hands that bless and heal. Christ, the being who invites all to come. Not later. Not maybe, or only when you are a certain way.
All are invited.
I look at my friend. I see pain. Pain so deep. I see blood throbbing in the flesh of their temples. I feel unworthy to sit in the sacred space of their grief. Yet they invite me to sit with them.
I see their hunger. I see their thirst.
What is bread?
Flour, water, and salt.
I can do that.
I can pour it together, mix it between my fingers. My hands invite it to connect, to become one. I persuade it into dough which expands and rises. Rises to become. It fills all places where there is space for it. Intense heat transforms it into bread.
My hands lift the loaf, perfect in roundness. I tear large, abundant pieces. I open the vessel of creamy oil, and anoint it to be the Christ, to nourish us as we are nourished by God. To remind us that we are saved by the bond of love that is stronger than death.
I bless it with my love.
Love that is sacred has no condition. It requires no agreement. It is not earned.
I offer it freely, as freely as God has offered me grace.
When I look at my friend, I remember God.
We sit together, the least of these.