The Eucharistic Life
by David Morrison
“By the mystery of this water and wine may we come to share in the divinity of Christ who humbled himself to share in our humanity.”
-Roman Eucharist Rite
“Eucharist” is a Greek word for “thanks.” The sacrament of Eucharist invites us to enter into mystical union with Christ and therefore into a profound solidarity with the suffering of the world. It opens our eyes to the interconnection of every living thing as the letter to the Colossians envisioned the “Cosmic Christ,” who “is before all things, and in whom all things hold together” (1:17). When we gaze into the cup of wine, we see it as the cup of suffering and the cup of celebration, and we’re brought back once again to the great mystery: that in the end, joy and suffering are found in one cup.
There are times in my life in which I am intensely reminded that I have absolutely no power to grant my next breath, and a great helplessness and fear comes over me. The Eucharist invites me into a further question: What if your next breath came from a deep well of thanks and gratitude? And the next breath, and so on; and then, everything I see would become pure gift. And this is how the Eucharistic life is birthed in me.
The Eucharistic life is a life that has awakened with intentionality and awareness. It is the “presence-driven life.” In it, creativity is awakened in the mundane rhythm of everyday life. It engages life at its heart. So our partaking of the sacrament together serves as a renewal of our awareness that all creation is sacrament and we reintroduce ourselves to ourselves and we come back home to our own lives. It is the sacrament of the present moment and the spirituality of the ordinary.
The Eucharistic life is the participation of the Paschal Mystery: that is, the death and resurrection of Jesus. Most religious beliefs and philosophies of the world tend to center around an attempt to escape the tedium of life and its suffering. The Paschal Mystery empowers us to embrace these and subsequently give presence to them.
“The Eucharist is the celebration of life, the dance of the divine in human form. We are part of that dance. Each of us is a continuation of Christ’s incarnation, insofar as we are living Christ’s life in our own lives–or rather, instead of our own lives. The Eucharist is the summary of all creation coming together in a single hymn of praise, surrender, and thanksgiving.”