Many ask me what it means to live in a eucharistic way. One book that marked my experience of the Eucharist was, “With Burning Hearts,” by Henri Nouwen. If you haven’t read it, don’t miss it. I am going to share with you some ideas that I remember from that book, probably mixed with things from my experience.
When we say we are to imitate Jesus in the Eucharist, we have to let ourselves be taken into the hands of others and be divided and distributed by God. First of all, to live in a eucharistic way we must let ourselves be taken by God. This implies, always, losing a little control, or better, leaving it in the hands of God. Of course, God does not play with our freedom and being taken by him does not mean being puppets in his hands, but it does involve trusting him completely and letting him drive. Our confidence and our freedom, full of deep desires, are united to the desires of God, allowing ourselves to be more fully united to him.
Secondly, to be a “eucharist” for others, implies a desire to be distributed. Our cracks, our fissures and frailties are the place that allow God to distribute ourselves to others, like bread that gives life. Only from there, from our weaknesses, do we understand that, by the pure grace of God, we can share our lives with all humanity. We can live in a eucharistic way by uniting ourselves with Jesus, conscious of our wounds, and allowing ourselves to be shared by the Father.
It is nice to think that it is God who distributes us and not we who divide ourselves. God loves first, God is given to us first and he sowed that desire to be given to others. He distributes us with what we are. He does not distribute only our gifts and talents, but our whole life, inviting us to share it with others.
This gets to the essence of living the Way of the Heart, looking for concrete ways to offer our lives to God in order to encounter the world around us.
- Matías Hardoy SJ
Pope’s Worldwide Prayer Network (EYM – Argentina)