Cascade of Meanings
"The Eucharist announces not only the death of Christ until he comes but also a foretaste of the joyful banquet of the poor in the new heaven and new earth. Thus in the Eucharist there is a cascade of meanings." _Casiano Floristan (The Option for the poor in Christian Theology, page 243)Every time I take the bread and drink the wine/grape juice of the Eucharist, I feel overwhelmed by the "cascade of meanings" and the plurality of its significance. I ask myself each time, "now what is this we're doing here?" And I never have one solid answer. I know that it is indeed a remembrance of Christ and I know that in some way it is a re-membering of Christ's body. It is anticipatory of the day when all will eat at the table of the lamb. It is the foretaste of the end of all hunger and the defeat of poverty, therefore as we remember Christ we must remember the poor and all crucified people who will be vindicated by God, putting faces and names to the story of salvation. It is the gathering together of all of us into the body of Christ. It is the consumption of Christ and our being consumed by Christ--becoming one together, united in and by Christ. It is the mysterious presence of God with us. It is the model by which we live. The Eucharist is the deepest and yet most mysterious expression of our being in Christ. Having said all of this, I regret that I cannot tell you what the Eucharist is.
But puzzle not over the what but over the why. Why are we doing this if not to implement the gospel and the saving work of God through Jesus Christ into his world? Why if not to proclaim in word and deed, "the Kingdom of God is among you," "this is my body given for you that you may live"? The Eucharistic life is one that remembers Christ by re-membering the body of Christ, dining with the broken and bringing all, including all the wrong kinds of people, into the community of the resurrection.