If bread and wine …

Riding the No. 24 Donald

Approx. read time: 2:30 min.

For Sunday morning worshipers, the deepest dark days of pandemic threw us off our routine.

Well, I think, with churches closed, I suddenly have occasion to sit deeply, at home, with the Eucharistic Prayer.

Again and again, a simple line from this ancient prayer draws me into untethered contemplation: And so, Father, we bring you these gifts …

These gifts. The bread, the wine.

Well, on a Sunday morning I don’t feel inclined to fetch a slice of homemade bread from the kitchen, nor a glass of jug red wine.

Somehow it’s not about finding substitutes.

But I begin to wonder … If bread and wine, then why not … everything else? Not just things that “stand in” for the sacred offering, but the sacred things themselves.

I begin the prayer again. And so, Father, we bring you these gifts. 

Instinctively my hands extend, palms up, and I see the offering of the labors of my past week: the writing, the video-taping, the listening, the ways I was present to others. I pause, and offer it all.

Now the door of my heart and imagination swings open, and I see the week’s labors of bus drivers, students, older folk with their shopping carts, the man struggling with his 30-gallon bag of empty cans. I pause, and offer it all.

I see the labors of the helpful librarian, the postal clerk, the tired teen, the frazzled teacher, the hidden labors of people with good hearts whose labors go mostly unappreciated. I pause, and offer it all.

I see the labors of dentists and medical workers tending their patients. The labors of researchers, knowledge seekers, those who hold a vision. I pause, and offer it all.

I see the labors of folks who work with their hands, their muscles, their backs. I see the labors of helpers, caregivers, moms who hold a sick child through the night. I pause, and offer it all.

I see the tired faces of those who labor faithfully in low-pay thankless jobs in order to provide for their families. I pause, and offer it all.

I see the labor of those who struggle with all their might against the impulse of addictions. I see those who walk with them, counsel them, encourage them on their tortuous journey. I pause, and offer it all.

And so, Father, we bring you these gifts. 

Gifts of creativity and fruitfulness; of obedience and patience. Gifts of justice, generosity, and joy. Gifts of compassion, forgiveness, and unexplainable hope. Gifts of good hearts, of those who choose the good road.

I think back to Père Teilhard de Chardin, Jesuit priest, scholar, scientist. On a World War I battlefield, he wants to celebrate Eucharist, but has no bread, no wine. So he takes, as his matter of sacrifice, the great suffering of humanity.

All of life is meant to be a eucharistic celebration. Is this not our imperative?

We labor with dignity. Our work is holy. We wear the vestments of our calling.

Share this blogpost with friends. And let me know your thoughts.

Check out my YouTube channel, which has plenty of straight-ahead teaching, inspiration, and more.

Be well. Live in peace. Love one another.

Web Design | Fluidity Studio