Saturday, October 30, 2004 +

Eucharist for a Carnival

I suppose that everyone who receives the Holy Eucharist for the first time wonders how his life will be changed by the event. Most often, the effect is apparently nil, or wears off in a short time. As after baptism, Adam remains.

This was so with the very first First Communion. Shortly after, the Apostles slept, then they ran.

We who now receive the Eucharist daily, or almost daily, no longer expect "life changes." If we have a concern, we ask for help; if we've experienced a blessing, we give thanks. Mostly, we -- or perhaps read "I" -- just want to be more with Jesus.

We eat this host, sometimes pleasantly crisp, sometimes a little stale. If we are lucky, we sip this wine, usually too sweet. These are His Body and Blood, but we do not try to imagine them so. Nevertheless, Jesus' body is now in my body, not only in that spiritual thing, my heart. So I try to taste, and not think or pray. Then back in my pew -- but we seem to have left the realm of "we."

I write this for a "Carnival." The dictionary cites a folk etymology: carne + vale = "Flesh, farewell!" To me, the Eucharist is more like "Come in, Jesus!", and for at least a few minutes of the day, I shall be more like Mary than Martha in Bethany. Gratitude.