It is a shame how often I make God so small. He is so much greater than any word can say. Even the word “he” is such a minimalizing pronoun, because God is not just father, but also mother, love and spirit. Yet, this God who is so great is happy to shrink Himself to something that I can understand. Any ounce of my love and attention He can have, He celebrates and rewards.
I see it most often in the Eucharist. He starts as the seed that must first die in order to grow into wheat. There, He sits, innocent and vulnerable to, trusting that drought and insects will stay at bay, and trusting the hands of the farmer to pluck Him out as food for all. In the act of harvest, He is pulled from the soil and beaten and broken into death again, trusting in the hands of the baker, now, to use Him as flour that will rise again in the bread that feeds all. He is in every grain of it!
He is likewise in the wine. He is the seed that grows into the vine that becomes fruitful and multiplies, only to be plucked from its source and mashed and beaten into juice and bits. Bleeding and broken, He is left to rot and ferment to become a source of nourishment for all.
In these ways He gives us life! He dies. He rises.
And He offers Himself this way not again and again, but always and forever to be consumed—devoured—by those who love Him!
He is the Perfect Father, the Perfect Mother, the Perfect Lover, the Perfect Provider…and yet.
So often, I miss all that. I do nothing more than get in line, march to the altar and briefly bow my head, and say “Amen” when He is put before me and declared, “The body of Christ.” Instead, I do it hoping that I have “earned” His love for another week. Hoping that He is the winning lottery ticket of my life. From Him I ask so much: life and health and wealth and luxury and fame.
But for Him?
For Him, my bowing and agreement that this little wafer of bread and this cheap dime-store wine, blessed and broken, is in fact Him?
For Him, this is enough.
Because in that simple act—despite any doubt on my behalf—He has come to rest in me through the violent act of my chewing , swallowing, and digesting His flesh and blood.
And somewhere in that simple act, is the Paschal Mystery taught by the Perfect Teacher in two lessons:
- You are what you eat.
- He dies. He rises. We die. We rise.