Reflection on the Eucharist.A new attuning of the elements occurred, as on a harp the notes may change their rhythm, though all the while preserving the same tone; and this is just what happened.... Wisdom 19:18
The celebration of the Eucharist (eucharistos, "grateful;" charis, "favour," "grace;" chairein, "to rejoice") involves an unstinting reception of a great and generous gift, whose fullness exceeds our capacity to entirely receive it. The gift of great favour, the moment of sweet "How pleasant you promise to my palate, sweeter than honey in my mouth" (Psalm 119:103), rejoicing ["I have told you this so that my own joy be in you and your joy complete" (John, 15:11)] that is, the Eucharist, is simultaneously so exalted and yet so profound a truth that it eludes us both above and below; so fundamental that we overlook it, so transcendent that we cannot comprehend it: "I have dealt with great things that I do not understand; things too wonderful for me, which I cannot know," (Job, 42:3). (1)
The Eucharist is a testament to transformation. The meaning of the sacrament cannot be understood primarily as either allegorical (this does not stand for that, which is substitution), but as metaphorical (meta, "to change," "to transform," + pherein, "to carry," "to bear") because the meaning of the Eucharist is neither "this stands for that" or "this is like that" but both, and more. The Eucharist declares "this is that," which is identity: "I am the living bread which has come down from heaven" (John, 6:48).
Transubstantiation transubstantiation: see Eucharist.
In Christianity, the change by which the bread and wine of the Eucharist become in substance the body and blood of Jesus, though their appearance is not altered.
The definition of Eucharistic transformation is transubstantiation, whereby bread and wine, by the power of the Holy Spirit, the Lord and Giver of life, become the Body and Blood of life Himself. (2) Transubstantiation is the material expression ne plus ultra of metaphor. Not limited to substitution or relationship, the meaning carried by the bread and wine is transformed, "Changing them by Your Holy Spirit" (3) through identity: "This is my body given for you....This cup is the new covenant in my blood poured out for you" (Luke, 22:19-20).
The bread and wine, the staves of life, and the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ Blood of Jesus Christ, or Blood of Christ, was a military order instituted at Mantua in 1608 by Vin. Gonzaga IV. The devise of this order was, Doimne probasti me, or that Nihil hoc triste recepto. , the life of the world ["God has given to us eternal life, and this life is His Son" (1 John, 5:11)], are the symbolic poles of Eucharistic transformation. The peace ["Peace I bequeath To dispose of Personal Property owned by a decedent at the time of death as a gift under the provisions of the decedent's will.
The term bequeath applies only to personal property. to you, my own peace I give to you" (John, 14:27)], and harmony ["A new attuning of the elements occurred," (Wisdom, 19:19)] proclaimed in Christ, through Him, and with Him, reveal the truth of a cosmic Kosmos, ("order," "universe") metanoia Metanoia (from the Greek μετανοῖα, metanoia, changing one's mind, repentance) is a rhetorical device used to retract a statement just made, and then state it in a better way. It is similar to correctio. : the authentic conversion of the heart of all creation.
The entirety of God's creation, its abundance and plenitude plen·i·tude
1. An ample amount or quantity; an abundance: a region blessed with a plenitude of natural resources.
2. The condition of being full, ample, or complete. "the breadth and the length, the height and the depth," (Ephesians, 3:18), finds its fullest expression and perfection in Christ, the pre-existent pleroma pleroma
the Gnostic concept of the spiritual world, representing the fullness of the Divine Being and the eons emanating therefrom.
See also: Mysticism (the fullness of all possible categories of being); in Whom, through Whom, and for Whom all things were created and are completed: "God wanted all fullness to be found in Him and through Him to reconcile all things, everything in heaven and everything on earth, by making peace through His death on the cross" (Colossians,: 19-20). (4)
The Eucharist is the epitome of the perfection of all creation (animal, vegetable, mineral, angelic, and divine) in the beauty of Christ, through Whom all things have been reconciled, perfected, and transformed. All of creation cries out the beauty of the Lord, for in Him is its joy ["For the Lord gives me joy," (Psalm, 104:31)]; and in the extended perfection of His creation, so graciously expressed in the Eucharist, is the Lord's own joy ["May the Lord find joy in His creatures!" (Psalm, 104:31)]. In the consummation of time that is the Kairos Kairos (καιρός) is an ancient Greek word meaning the "right or opportune moment". The ancient Greeks had two words for time, chronos and kairos. (the fitting and proportionate fulfilment) Christ will be "all in all" (1 Corinthians, 15:28); and in no sense is this more perfectly expressed than in the Eucharist: "I am the food of grown men. Grow, and you shall feed on me. You will not change me into yourself, as you change food into your flesh, but you will be changed into me." (5)
Christ reveals to us that the new commandment of love ["I give you a new commandment: love one another; you must love one another just as I have loved you" (John, 13:34)] is not only the fundamental law of human perfection, but is also the catalyst for the transformation of the world. (6) Sorrow, Jesus Christ tells His disciples at the Last Supper, will be turned into joy: "Your hearts will be full of joy, and that joy no one shall take from you. . .I have told you all this so that you may find peace in me. In the world you will have tribulation, but be of good cheer: I have overcome the world (John, 16:20, 22, 33).
Sorrow is transformed into joy and bread and wine are transformed into Christ's Body and Blood. The peace which Christ leaves with us is the very presence of His own person. The Eucharist, then, is that peace which is given unto us; it is that good cheer, that rejoicing, which is the perfection of love: "Love comes to its perfection in us" (1 John, 4:17) because "God is love, and whoever remains in love remains in God and God in him" (1 John, 4:16); "Know also the love of Christ, which surpasses all knowledge, that you may be filled unto all the fullness of God" (Ephesians, 3:19).
(1.) One is reminded of the observation of Anaxagoras that "Because of the weakness of our senses we are not able to judge the truth" (quoted in Philip Wheelwright wheel·wright
One that builds and repairs wheels.
a person whose job is to make and mend wheels
Noun 1. , ed., The Presocratics, New York, MacMillan, 1966, p.160. Or as G.K. Chesterton wrote, "We walk bewildered in the light, for something is too large for sight" ("The Wise Men" in The Works of G.K. Chesterton, the Wordsworth Poetry Library, p.102.)
(2.) The Fathers of the First Council of Constantinople Noun 1. First Council of Constantinople - the second ecumenical council in 381 which added wording about the Holy Spirit to the Nicene Creed
Constantinople in 381 in the expositio fidei proclaimed their faith "in the Spirit, the holy, the lordly lord·ly
adj. lord·li·er, lord·li·est
1. Of, relating to, or characteristic of a lord.
2. Very dignified and noble: a lordly and charitable enterprise.
3. and life-giving one" (quoted in Norman P. Tanner, ed., Decrees of the Ecumenical councils, Vol. I, p.23) and throughout, especially, the Gospel of John For other uses, see Gospel of John (disambiguation).
The Gospel of John (literally, According to John; Greek, Κατά Ιωαννην, Kata Iōannēn , Jesus identifies Himself as the life (John, 14:6).
(3.) The epiklesis, the prayer to God the Holy Spirit, in the Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom Noun 1. St. John Chrysostom - (Roman Catholic Church) a Church Father who was a great preacher and bishop of Constantinople; a saint and Doctor of the Church (347-407)
John Chrysostom , (Allendale: Alleluia Alleluia, Latin form of the expression Hallelujah. Press, 1970, p.53).
(4.) This fullness is suggested beautifully in the canon of the Mass in the Roman Rite, immediately before the minor elevation, when our prayers are offered to God through Christ: "Through Whom, O Lord, You always create, sanctify sanc·ti·fy
tr.v. sanc·ti·fied, sanc·ti·fy·ing, sanc·ti·fies
1. To set apart for sacred use; consecrate.
2. To make holy; purify.
3. , fill with life, bless, and bestow upon us all good things" (Saint Joseph Daily Missal missal [Lat.,=of the mass], in the Roman Catholic Church, liturgical book containing all directions and texts necessary for the performance of Mass throughout the year. , 1959, p.683).
(5.) Augustine, Confessions, VII: 10; in the translation of John K. Ryan, p.171. "If you have received worthily," Augustine writes elsewhere, "you are what you have received" (Sermon, 227). Cyril of Jerusalem For other uses, see Cyril.
Cyril of Jerusalem was a distinguished theologian of the early Church (ca. 315–386). He is venerated as a saint by both the Roman Catholic Church and the Eastern Orthodox Church. In 1883 the Holy See declared him a Doctor of the Church. , in his Mystagogic mys·ta·gogue
1. One who prepares candidates for initiation into a mystery cult.
2. One who holds or spreads mystical doctrines. Catecheses, explains that "by partaking of the Body and Blood of Christ The Blood of Christ in Christian theology refers to (a) the physical blood actually shed by Jesus Christ on the Cross, and the salvation which Christianity teaches was accomplished thereby; and (b) the Eucharistic wine used at Holy Communion Salvation
(6.) Vatican Council II, Gaudiumn et Spes, (The Pastoral Constitution of the Church in the Modern World, No. 38).
Father Kinsella is completing his doctorate in Sacramental Theology.