I have fallen behind in all the work at my desk again, and I am this week trying to actually be productive for a change. A good step in the right direction would be to start posting some thoughts here again. Life at the bookshop is always interesting, to say the least. I joke with my friends there that one day I might just write a book about the people that come into the store. Meanwhile, another constant in my life lately has been the Mass. I have had the opportunity & privilege of attending Mass and receiving the holy Body and precious Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ every day for the past eighteen days, that is, each day since Quinquagesima. One good thing about my current work schedule is that it allows for Mass before I go in to work.
Oh, what a wonderfully rich way to treat oneself in the midst of the Lenten fast. Such a little piece of bread, such a meager sip of wine, yet such an unfathomably deep and boundless feast. For as St. Thomas Aquinas and Johann Franck teach in their respective hymns, our eyes, indeed our reason, cannot be trusted to account for what is given to us. In the Mass the altar becomes the endless fount of God's mercy.
While Baptism enjoys a prominent place in the life and thought of Lutherans, as it should, I fear that the Blessed Eucharist is under-appreciated. If Holy Baptism is our river of life, in the Eucharist we eat the fruit of the tree of life, the tree which is planted by the water-side, and brings forth his fruit in due season. That is to say, it is the tree which stands for us on the fertile shore of the river of life. From that tree, that is, from the wounds of Christ Crucified, flows and gushes His noble and precious blood, the smallest drop of which washes away the sin of the whole world, as St. Ambrose says in his prayer. If a drop of Christ's Blood can do that, it can cleanse me of my sin, which is great, deep, manifold, and corrupting of my body and heart. For as great as is my sin, Christ's mercy is infinitely greater. And so each day I eagerly return to that holy Supper.
And while I'm there at the altar, I pray for those who do not presently have the Mass available to them on such a frequent basis. Fr. William Weedon points out that we stand in solidarity with the hungry when we fast; in a similar way, I stand in union with those Christians who cannot often stand at the altar. I am in spiritual communion with them, as I pray that they may one day have the gift of more frequent sacramental communion.