A thought that occurred to me a week ago was that the only way Jesus could give us the Bread of Life was by dying.
That made me think of the story, probably not true, of the little boy who agreed to donate a kidney to his brother who might otherwise die. He went to confession, saying, “Bless me, Father, for I have sinned. This is my last confession.”
The priest asked, “What do you mean, your last confession?”
The little boy said, “I am giving my kidney to my brother, so he can live; and I want to go to confession before I die.”
In the story the priest told the little boy that he had two kidneys. He would be perfectly healthy after giving one to his brother.
The thought that struck me two weeks ago was that it was only by his dying that Jesus could give himself to me.
St. Paul and three of the Gospels give us Our Lord’s words at the Last Supper. Writing in Greek they quote Jesus as saying, “This is my body which is given for you.” Our English translations, thinking of Jesus dying the next day, put his words in the future tense. They have him say, “This is my body which wiil be given for you.”
It seems to me that Jesus at the Last Supper was fully accepting death as the only way he could give himself to us.
He only had one life, like that boy thought he only had one kidney. In communion Jesus doesn’t just give each of us a little share in his life. He gives us his body and blood by accepting death to save us.