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Eucharist Rewrite:

Celebrant: This the Body of Christ
People: We too are the Body of Christ dedicated to the work of the Kingdom.

Celebrant: This is the Blood of Christ sacrificed when a voice cried out for justice.
People: We too speak out and give our lives to the cause of justice.

I Myself Am the Bread of Life” by Rory Cooney

Refrain

I myself am the bread of life.
You and I are the bread of life.
Taken and blessed, broken and shared by Christ
That the world might live.

Verse 1

This bread is spirit, gift of the Maker’s love,
and we who share it know that we can be one:
a living sign of God in Christ.

Refrain

Verse 2

Here is God’s kingdom given to us as food.
This is our body, this is our blood:
a living sign of God in Christ.
Refrain

Verse 3

Lives broken open, stories shared aloud,
Become a banquet, a shelter for the world:
a living sign of God in Christ.

Refrain

Reflections

I visited my parent’s parish today and heard a great homily about fear and abundance. I was reminded that Jesus sent out his disciples with little more than the clothes on their backs and a blessing fully expecting God to provide, yet when it came time to feed the crowds the disciples were ready to send them away, but Jesus saw abundance were the disciples saw scarcity. Fights about theology focusing on how God acts in our world seem to be a matter of if God is here then God can’t be there.

At mass I saw some people putting out their hands to bless the bread as they had once been taught, but was no longer encouraged in the parish. A good friend of mine who is Catholic might not even be comfortable with the word bless in this context. She might allow for the explanation that the people were praying. For her, the priest who also had his arms stretched out is the one doing the blessing. For my many of my Brethren friends, no one can bless the bread except for God alone and the thought that the bread is miraculously transformed seems to require belief that people can manipulate God.

I contend that the people did bless the bread and so did the priest. God was not merely in Heaven watching pleased by people following the rules nor restricted to flowing through the priest. No, rather God was flowing through the priest and flowing through the people. God was present in all of the people there and God was present in the bread and the wine.

So too is God present in the lives of the people and their reflections. God is present in the Bible, but not because God is controlling or has controlled the Bible’s creation and reproduction with an iron fist. Arguments about inerrancy, infallibility, etc. may be more about absolutizing our own interpretations of what the Bible means than they the surface of those arguments indicates. Yes, Christians generally recognize the presence of God in the Bible and in the lives of the people who wrote it, but our arguments grow heated where our identities become tied up in a given interpretation. We feel the need to express where we see the truth, see love, and even claim perfection (if only by proxy) to restate our underlying points that God is present, which few Christians are truly disputing, and that we are worthy of love and respect.

But if, as expressed by Rory Cooney, we have “Lives broken open, stories shared aloud” then we can serve our purpose to “Become a banquet, a shelter for the world: a living sign of God in Christ.”

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