1 Cor 11: 23-26
For I received from the Lord what I also handed on to you, that the Lord Jesus on the night when he was betrayed took a loaf of bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and said, “This is my body that is for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” In the same way he took the cup also, after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.”
For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.
Jesus tells us, on the night he was handed over to death, “Do this in remembrance of me,” and St. Paul affirms that “as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the death of the Lord.”
One might think that Jesus’ words “Do this” only refer to our celebrating the Eucharist as community, and it is true that Jesus desires we receive this gift repeatedly. But “this” is an ambiguous word and can mean many things at the same time. “Do this” can mean “receive me, so that you can more fully become what you receive”; or “just as I am giving my life for you, you must give your lives for one another”; or “realize that death is not the end but something we journey through on the way to resurrection.” May “this” all be true for us every time we receive this precious gift!
—Fr. Jim Goeke, SJ, serves at Regis Jesuit High School in Denver as a math teacher and superior of the Jesuit Community.
What he did at supper seated,
Christ ordained to be repeated,
His memorial ne’er to cease:
And his rule for guidance taking,
Bread and wine we hallow, making
Thus our sacrifice of peace.
Here beneath these signs are hidden
Priceless things to sense forbidden;
Signs, not things are all we see:
Blood is poured and flesh is broken,
Yet in either wondrous token
Christ entire we know to be.
Very bread, good shepherd, tend us,
Jesu, of your love befriend us,
You refresh us, you defend us,
Your eternal goodness send us
In the land of life to see. Amen. Alleluia
—Excerpts from the Sequence for the Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ