Broken, poured out, shared...

Yesterday, the violent insanity currently enveloping our broken, wounded world saw two men armed with knives storm a village church in northern France during Mass, taking hostages and killing the elderly priest, Fr Jacques Hamel. The reaction from around the world, recently grown wearily accustomed to violent attacks, was one of appalled, grieving incomprehension, while the significance of a priest being killed in a church whilst celebrating the Eucharist - the commemoration of Christ's ultimate, redemptive gift of himself - wasn't lost on people of faith.

Every evening I share a Society quote via Facebook and Twitter, where possible something relevant to current events or that day's Church feast. Yesterday evening I intended to find something in one document, but my fingers fell instead on one of its neighbours - our 1994 General Chapter. The booklet opened in my hands at the section on the Eucharistic dimension of our spirituality, and these words, so powerfully relevant, even down to the word "today", leapt out at me...

The poor, the marginalised,
the victims of violence
call us together to live Eucharist
as reconciliation.
This mystery of the body broken
and the blood poured out today
sends us to the world to be bread shared,
the real presence of the love of God for others.

Broken, poured out, shared... This is Jesus, is Eucharist, is the meaning and the transformative action of consecration: of bread and wine during Mass, and of people called to give their lives, in vows, for love. This is what God is for us, and this is what God calls us to be for others. May we have the courage and the faith to live this mystery and grace in these dark and troubled times.

Crucifix carved by a monk of Douai in the 1980s