Recently I read an article that quoted a line from a poem by Mary Karr. The line that struck me was “You are loved, someone said. Take that and eat it.”

How appropriate to reflect on that line for this Holy Thursday.  Jesus, in all his divinity, yet complete humanity, sat at table with his friends and essentially told them . . . told us . . . told the world . . .”You are loved.  Take that and eat it.”

And the way he showed his love on that particular evening was by kneeling down and washing his disciples’ feet.  You are loved.  And he taught us the way to love others is to do what he has done.  It seems so simple when we read the words, but how do we do what he did?  Not only must we bend down and wash another’s feet, we must also offer that love as nourishment for others, just as Jesus did.

The bread and wine changed into the Body and Blood of Christ at each eucharistic service means nothing if we are not also changed in the process.  “You are loved.  Take that and eat it.”  And, “become what you receive,” as St. Augustine said.

Because we are loved and we are shown how to love, we are given the nourishment to become a part of the Body of Christ in our day and our time.  “Take that and eat it.”

It is profound grace, but it comes with great responsibility. 



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