While they were eating, Jesus took a loaf of bread, and after blessing it he broke it, gave it to the disciples, and said, “Take, eat; this is my body.”
What does it mean to eat Jesus?
The consumption of bread that is the body of Jesus Christ is probably the most solemn, sacred and strange act of Christianity. We understand the symbolism of breaking the bread as Jesus’ body was broken. But then we put that bread that we have just declared to be the body of our God in our mouths, chew it up and swallow it. That seems… odd.
Eating is an intimate act. Part of another creature, no longer living, is placed in our mouths. And once swallowed, that creature is digested and used to make us. When we consume Jesus, then- when we place that bread that is his body in our mouths, chew it up and swallow it- we are performing an intimate act with our Lord. What is more, as we ingest Jesus, as we place his body inside our bodies, we find that he becomes a part of us, and our very lives are built on him.
When was the last time you partook of Holy Communion? Have you ever considered it a strange act? Are you “consuming Jesus” enough to keep your soul well fed?
Pray for a deeper understanding of Jesus’ presence in your life. Give thanks for his sacrifice. Pray for a way to experience his grace more intimately.