As we celebrate this weekend the Feast of the Body and Blood of the Lord, there are many things that can be said about this marvelous gift of Christ Himself which He makes to us in this sacrament. The first, of course, is that when we receive communion we are truly receiving the person of the Risen Lord. We are not simply remembering Him, or reenacting the Last Supper. We are personally encountering Christ who wishes to unite us to Him, to share with us His very life. This is what we mean when we talk about the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist. In ways that we do not understand but we believe because of the guarantee of the Lord Himself, the creative power of God transforms simple bread and wine into the very person of the Lord so He can give us His life and His love. But a closely related truth is that this very same Lord, this same gift is offered to each of us, regardless of social status, gender, nationality, personal wealth or any other defining characteristic that the world sometimes finds so meaningful. When we line up to come to communion, no one is more important to the Lord, no one automatically is at the front of the line, no one receives more of Him than someone else. He loves and cares for each of us in the same way. Our world is marked by much division, enormous economic gaps and by separations of fear and misunderstanding. In the Eucharist, we experience God breaking down the barriers, closing the gaps and gathering us with all our differences into a unity that only God is big enough to sustain and somehow transform.
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