This is my body…

Pandemic regulations have shifted, so we can now have up to 43.5 people in our sanctuary for religious gatherings! Wishing to advertise tonight’s Maundy Thursday service, I rounded up the image below for use on Facebook:

Fresco of the Last Supper, Chiesa San Lorenzo, Milan (16th c., my photo)

I chose the photo because of the Renaissance fresco of the Last Supper from San Lorenzo in Milan (a church I visited because its fabric is Late Antique, even if not its decoration). After putting the details below the pic — Holy Communion, 7:30 — I went to type “This is my body…” in the upper left corner.

And then I realised that this blurry photo I took has more going on than I was thinking about. Because there, in the foreground, is a terracotta pieta, of the dead Christ with His mother. I think she’s cleaning His wounds?

Here’s the wild beauty of the Eucharist, friends. The night He was betrayed to suffering and death, the night before He died, Jesus took bread, broke it, and said, “This is my body.”

And then, the next day, they took His body, limp and dead, off a Roman cross. They tended His wounds. They placed His body in a tomb.

Jesus also said, “My flesh is real food, and my blood is real drink.” (John 6:55)

That body, that flesh, is present to us, really present, in the Holy Communion. It is a mystery to be received in reverence, as He imparts His very self and the fulness of His grace to us.