April 30, 2014
O God, whose blessed Son made himself known to his disciples in the breaking of bread: Open the eyes of our faith, that we may behold him in all his redeeming work; who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.
(Collect for Wednesday in Easter Week and Third Sunday of Easter)
Not long ago as I was administering communion at the altar rail, I had an experience in which I began to see people I had known for a decade or more kneeling at the rail. It was not so much a vision as it was an awareness of the deeply powerful way that the sacraments bind us together. I saw people from my sponsoring parish, from seminary, and from my former parish interspersed with the parishioners from the cathedral. At first, I glanced back to see if I had seen who I thought I had seen – but then it would be someone else.
This moment has been the subject of much of my prayer recently. It was as if all those moments of Communion – of knowing Jesus in the breaking of bread – that I had shared with so many were drawn into one holy moment – one assembly of the faithful I have been blessed to know.
It is easy to fixate on distance when one misses a place or a person. Yet, it is a gift to know how close they are in Christ – how near they are in that union we all share in the simple blessing, breaking, and sharing. I needed to see those I was missing – and those I didn’t know I was missing – there with me at the altar rail.
The mystery of the Church is that Christ’s relationship with us binds, defines, and shapes our relationships with one another. That relationship ennobles the simplest of friendships in that our welcome to the Body of Christ is our call to know that, wherever we are, there is gathered around us the whole constellation of relationships that has made us who and what we are. And that body of the faithful is a sign of God’s redeeming work.
This week, look back on the relationships that have made you the person you are, and reconnect in some way with a person you might have forgotten. Send them an email or a card or make a phone call to remind them of the way that they continue to form you and to be a part of your life.