Eucharist embodies the truth at the heart of all existence. All of life is gift.

Life pours forth from a mysterious and mighty source abundant beyond all human capacity to comprehend. A large sunflower head produces over 1,000 seeds arranged in an extraordinary spiral pattern. Life is fecund. sunflower-seed-head-spirals

In I Peter, the writer refers to

the gracious gift of life. (I Peter 3:7)

We did not bring ourselves into existence. We do not have the power to maintain our lives. Every breath we breathe and every beat of our heart is a gift. The fundamental nature of life is gift. I do not need to create or manufacture my life. I only need to receive my life and then live actively from that deep place of gratitude that is my true nature.

The word “eucharist” comes from the Greek eukharistia, which means “gratitude” or “giving of thanks”. In the eucharist, I  celebrate the abundance of life and the gift that is my life. Acknowledging the giftedness of life opens me to a life of gratitude and generosity and away from a life of clutching, hoarding, and grasping.

The regular practice of eucharist shifts my consciousness from scarcity to an awareness of abundance. Eucharist announces that there is always enough to go around. The gift of bread and wine is freely shared. I do not need to earn my place at the table. I do not need to be good enough, smart enough, or educated enough. I only need to have a heart that is open to receive.

In the eucharist I open my heart to the experience the disciples had when Jesus fed 5,000 people out in the wilderness.

All ate and were filled; and they took up twelve baskets full of broken pieces and of the fish. (Mark 6:42, 43)

When gratitude is at the centre of my life, I know there is always enough to go around. There is no scarcity. The essential qualities of life never run out. Love and kindness only know abundance. Compassion, gentleness, beauty, and truth never run out. When I nurture those qualities in my life that are most deeply and truly human, those qualities I see embodied in Jesus and in the meal he left us, the well-spring never runs dry.

Jesus said to the Samaritan woman,

those who drink of the water that I will give them will never be thirsty. The water that I will give will become in them a spring of water gushing up to eternal life. (John 10:14)

This is not mere rhetoric. Love never runs out; it is never exhausted, never tires, never loses hope or trust in the eternal supply of God’s Spirit.

When I find myself becoming bitter and resentful, feeling that there is not an adequate supply of whatever it is I think I lack, I need to go back to the table. I need to ask myself what I have been eating that has left me hungry and bitter instead of offering me the eternal sustenance of God’s grace and goodness.

I go forth from eucharist empowered with the seed of faith that is God’s word and Spirit reborn within my deepest being. I am enabled again to engage in the essential act of human existence which is giving.

Eucharist invites me to surrender to the flow of grace that is the heartbeat of the universe. In this repeated ritual, I acknowledge myself as a recipient and become an active participant in the flow of the love opens my heart to the fecundity which characterizes all of life.