In the past month, I have posted here over 5,000 words about eucharist.

The beauty of the eucharist is that it exists in part to demonstrate that none of these words really has the much importance at all.

You do not need to understand, or be able to make sense of this ritual in order to participate. There is no theological means test administered before you are welcome at the table.

Eucharist functions at a level deeper and more profound than the rational cognitive linear dimension which is the terrain of the human brain. It is not that there is anything wrong with the intellect. Our thinking brain is a useful tool when it comes to navigating the horizontal dimension of life. But intellect is not the level on which eucharist operates.

Eucharist moves in the mysterious hidden dimension of the spirit that exists beyond our ability to articulate in words or to capture in any rational forms of thought or expression.

Eucharst inovles a heart transaction in which we agree in faith to open to the vertical dimension of life that transcends the realm in which we are accustomed to seeking meaning and purpose in life. Eucharist invites us to embrace the reality that true life is not contained on the level of the world’s success, or any tangible achievement.

This is why it is so important that access to the table be unconditional. There is nothing we need to do to earn the right to eat at the Table of the Lord. We only need to have a heart that desires to open to the presence and action of love. A child is equally, perhaps more, qualified to engage in eucharist than the most highly educated theologian.

There is, however, an important difference between a child sharing in the eucharist and the participation of an adult. A child shares in this mystical meal because he is brought. He copies the behaviour of the adults in his life. He receives bread and wine because the adults receive bread and wine. Children learn by copying the actions of adults. Eucharist teaches at a cellular level the lessons of grace and welcome.

Tragically, there will come a day when these lessons are less easily embraced as the child grows towards adulthood. The heart of a child which at birth is naturally open to beauty, wonder, mystery, and light, begins to constrict as her awareness of separation and difference begins to grow. She will find it more difficult over the years to simply open and receive with the purity and innocence of childhood belief.

So, as an adult, I must choose to share in the Lord’s meal. I must make a conscious decision to allow my heart to open again to that dimension of being to which I have become less sensitive as the years of responsibility and determination to be in control of life have piled up. I must choose to soften my heart to that consciousness that has become dulled over the years. Eucharist becomes for me a reenactment of the need for surrender in my life.

Every eucharist is an altar call. I am challenged to return again and again to that place where I choose to become again like a little child and receive in trust the nourishment of life Jesus offers me in bread and wine. By sharing in the eucharist I take personal responsibility for my spiritual life. I signify my determination to eat food that nourishes my spiritual body. I embody my intention walk away from all those forces in the world that cause me to fall into the sleep of unconsciousness. I return from the table to the world with renewed strength to embody the power and light of love with which I am nurtured in bread and wine.