Friday, December 10, 2010

Daily Office Reflection: Take, Bless, Break, Give

Psalms 31 * 35; Isaiah 7:10-25; 2 Thess 2:13-3:5; Luke 22: 14-30

In today's Gospel selection Jesus provides us with his third telling of "the four-fold action," which we utilize in our Eucharistic prayers. He takes (1), blesses (gives thanks){2}, breaks (3) and gives (4) the bread to his disciples who are sharing his last (and Passover) meal with him. The first two times Jesus provides this "four-fold action" are during the two feedings of the multitudes who had been flocking to see and hear him over the course of his ministry.

We hear these words and witness and participate in these actions every time we participate in (or attend) a Eucharistic service. It is easy for us to take for granted, lose the impact of these words we hear so often. Remembering that they come from this very tender and personal and painful place of Jesus at table with his friends for the last time can help make each and every Eucharist far more rich.

Interestingly, we are given this reading in the middle of our Advent Season. I wonder if we could think of the Incarnation, about which we are preparing in this Season, in terms of this "four fold" mystery: of "taking," "blessing (giving thanks)," "breaking," and "giving." God takes human life and form in the Incarnation, in the person of Jesus. By living a human life, in all of its glories and difficulties, God is giving thanks for (blessing) our humanness. With God's dying for us on the Cross, God breaks open a living kingdom. By God's resurrection, we are given the ability to chose a new life. All of this starting with that for which we prepare and will celebrate fifteen days from today: the Incarnation, of God taking human form and living and dying with us leading us to newness in all aspects of life.

No wonder we need time to prepare.

Copyright 2010, The Rev. John F. Dwyer. All Rights Reserved.

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