I tried to write about the thoughts and random connections that come to me when I approach communion (Eucharist). I had planned to put in more biblical details and allusions so maybe at some point I will rewrite this, but as soon as I focus on bread, then the mundane stuff of continuing to live as well as the real work of mothering and nurture comes to me and so the real world got into my sense of sacrament (as usual). So it came out less mythical and mystical and more down-to-earth than I had thought…I hope it makes sense. Add your own in the comments if you like.
The bread of life. Amen
The labour of my mother’s hands. Amen
The buried grain arisen. Amen
Cord blood to the baby. Amen
The scent of the turned soil. Amen
The seed scattered. Amen
The birds feeding. Amen
Waybread for the journey. Amen
Loaves, flatbreads, rice, tortillas, sandwiches, pastries. Amen
Starving children while we glut. Amen
Crumbs from the table. Amen
Staling crust, dryly sticks in throat. Amen
Children should be seen and not heard. Amen
Where then is the sacrament? Amen
If all of this will lead to crucifixion. Amen
I threw my leftover lunch out of the train carriage. Mea culpa.
My mother had worked all night kneading and proving the bread. Amen
My grandparents starved in refugee camps. Amen
There are homeless in my own city. Amen
I was only a kid. Amen
Your vocation is to feed hungry souls. Amen
To wash feet, to change nappies. Amen
To break bread and model table manners. Amen
The body of Christ. Amen, amen.
A mother’s body torn to give life. Amen
A mother’s blood flowing through the cord. Amen
A mother’s milk swelling, or inadequate. Amen
The father waking in the night to help feed the baby. Amen
The blessing of grandparents. Amen
Solace to the elderly parent. Amen
This too is my body. Amen
The battery hen. Amen
The lives that go into the abattoir. Amen
The lives that are held in limbo, on Manus. Amen
The lives that are born but not nurtured. Amen
The loves that remain a source of shame and exclusion. Amen
The oceans full of oil and sewage. Amen
The rice crops failing because seeds become patented. Amen
Food is a business, water and investment. Oh Lamb of God have mercy.
I told you this is my body. Amen
We eat you, we eat each other, we are failing to love. Amen
Save us Lord, we can’t walk on water. Amen
I told you you would deny me, but now I will feed you. Amen.
Whenever you make food for your workmates. Amen
Whenever you give food to someone hungry. Amen
Whenever you celebrate your own child. Amen
Whenever you remember to visit your great aunt or grandmother. Amen
This is my body. This is the bread that feeds you. This is flesh and earth and physical joy and strength. This is soul and spirit and the ecstasy of connection. Break this, give this, do this in memory of me.
The pod of dolphins leap for joy. Amen
The chili from a colleague’s generous harvest. Amen
My sister gets up early to make bread– her vocation. Amen
Bread and sacrament, our life and our heritage. Amen, amen.
The body of Christ. Amen