The God of salvation offers to us his body and his blood today, an offering which displays not the romantic love of which poets write but the sort of sacrificial love of which Jesus spoke when he said, “you shall love your neighbor as yourself.” Jesus offers his body not just in ritual but in flesh and blood through suffering. All we must do to consume the bread of life and to receive the God of salvation is reach out for it, not up toward heaven, not up toward the feet of Caesar who claims that bread comes from his hand but up toward the cross which is to reach down toward “the least of these.” It is a simple enough reach is it not? We don’t have to become anything more but rather we need only to become less, to sell all we have and follow after him. But which reach is really more difficult? It is easy to get caught up into Caesar’s story which says that we must stomp over our enemies in the push toward prosperity but it is much more difficult to find ourselves in Jesus story, to give up on our positions, to love the unlovable, and to die for our enemies on a Roman cross in the push toward love and sacrifice. When we eat the bread and drink the wine w accept God’s offer and we begin the process of embracing Jesus story, his gospel. In the Eucharist, to say anything less than “yes” to Jesus’ story would be heresy and to do anything less than love our neighbors and those who suffer would be hypocrisy.
“Take, eat, this is my body.”