Last Sunday we heard Josh Hosler urge us to come to the Eucharist ready to "chow down." He was faithfully rendering the strong meaning of a word Jesus uses in the Bread of Life discourse in the Gospel According to John.
This morning in my reading I came across this passage about the Eucharist:
"When we look around, we see many people in whom the Holy Spirit does not appear to dwell. They look dead, as though they were dragging around a corpse, their own body. The practice of the Eucharist is to help resurrect these people so they can touch the Kingdom of Life. In the church, the Eucharist is received at every mass. Representatives of the church read from the biblical passage about the Last Supper of Jesus with His twelve disciples, and a special kind of bread called the Host is shared. Everyone partakes as a way to receive the life of Christ into his or her own body. When a priest performs the Eucharistic rite, his role is to bring life to the community. The miracle happens not because he says the words correctly, but because we eat and drink in mindfulness. Holy Communion is a strong bell of mindfulness. We eat and drink all the time, but we usually ingest only our ideas, projects, worries, and anxieties. We do not really eat our bread or drink our beverage. If we allow ourselves to touch our bread deeply, we become reborn, because our bread is life itself. Eating it deeply, we touch the sun, the clouds, the earth, and everything in the cosmos. We touch life, and we touch the Kingdom of God. When I asked Cardinal Jean Danielou if the Eucharist can be described in this way, he said yes."
The author of this quote is Thich Nhat Hanh, the famed Vietnamese Buddhist monk. It is from his book Living Buddha, Living Christ. The emphasis is mine.