I've been an official Roman Catholic for 3 weeks now. I'm still filled with immeasurable joy. I've partaken of the Eucharist 4 times & it continues to be a source of wonder for me. What does that dry little wafer & that wine DO? Or is it the moving out of my seat & stepping into the slow flood of people that effects change? Is it bowing to Jesus & rising up to meet the eyes of the priest or extraordinary minister as they proclaim "Body of Christ" or "Blood of Christ" respectively? I can't be silent... I speak the "Amen" half wanting to shout & half wanting to cry. I partake with heart racing & insides trembling. Maybe its just anxiety. Maybe its nothing. I cross myself & make the long journey back to my seat. I flip the kneeler over & sink down into my own little world for a bit. I don't actually pray- I can't- I'm so overwhelmed. I close my eyes & think, "I've just partaken of the Eucharist- Jesus' own Body & Blood. What does that even mean?!". Head in my hands, I am quiet & listen to the rhythmic "Body of Christ", "Blood of Christ" as the remainder of the congregation files past me.
The Eucharist is all these things- from stepping into the slow flood of people to looking into the blazing eyes of the ministers as they hand me the wafer & the cup. It is the Body & the Blood, the racing heart, the trembling, the desire to shout & cry all at the same time. And after I partake, I carry The Presence with me on the long journey back to the safety of my pew. The Eucharist means Thanksgiving. And why am I thankful?! Because its Jesus' promise of "Yes" to me, to which I respond "Amen"! It is what joins me with the Church, the communion of saints & life everlasting. What a privilege.