A Penitent Blogger

Mindful of my imperfections, seeking to know Truth more deeply and to live Love more fully.

Quid sum miser tunc dicturus? Quem patronum rogaturus? Cum vix iustus sit securus?
Recordare, Iesu pie, Quod sum causa tuae viae: Ne me perdas illa die...

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Back to the center

In theory, liturgy unites.

In practice, sad to say, liturgy often divides.

Even in faith communities that would not call themselves “liturgical”, the manner and details of their common worship are a popular matter of discussion and disagreement.

Tonight, on Holy Thursday, our special annual remembrance of our Lord’s death and resurrection begins with a special focus on his Last Supper.

Among many other things, the Last Supper stands as the foundation and the exemplar of how we are to be as Church: of how we worship, of how we unite with Christ, and what we as a body of believers must do.

At the center of this celebration and of this evening’s readings is what our Lord did with the bread and the cup, of which tonight’s second reading (1 Corinthians 11:23-26) is the earliest written description we have.

I received from the Lord
what I also handed on to you,
that the Lord Jesus,
on the night he was handed over,
took bread,
and, after he had given thanks,
broke it and said,
“This is my body that is for you.
Do this in remembrance of me.”
In the same way
also the cup, after supper, saying,
“This cup is the new covenant in my blood.
Do this, as often as you drink it,
in remembrance of me.”

This is the center of what we celebrate tonight and it should be the center of our lives as Christians and as a Church: the mysterious and redemptive, sacramental and real presence of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, true God and true man, who suffered, died and rose.

If this is truly our center, there can be no division: no division as Christians or as a Church across the political or stylistic spectrum, no division as Christians or as a Church around the world, no division as Christians or as a Church through the millennia.

Traditionalists or progressives, contemplative or active, ordained or lay, consecrated or secular, may the remembrance and the reality of this Holy Thursday bring us ever closer to our true center in the Body and Blood of Christ.