Why did the Lord establish the Sacrament of Communion
This is not to say that after the sacrament, the apostles change for the better. They coward, abandon the Teacher, do not believe Magdalene, who came running with joyful news: "He is risen!" What were, and remained so.
Elena Cherkasova. The Last Supper
And when they ate, Jesus took the bread and, having blessed, broke it and, distributing to the disciples, said: take, eat: this is My Body. And taking the cup and thanking, he gave it to them and said: drink everything from it, for this is My Blood of the New Testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins. (Matthew 26: 26-28)
Today, half a day before real death, Christ breaks His Flesh, sheds His Blood, and extends them to his disciples. And together with the disciples – and to all of us, because at the Liturgy we are all partakers of the Last Supper.
But why is the Eucharist needed? Why do we need communion with the Body and Blood of the Savior? Does it make us better, cleaner, does it help in the fight against sin? Is it possible to say that the sacrament “does not work” if after it we do not feel either gracious support, or improvement in ourselves, or fresh strength to fight temptations?
To answer this question, you need to ask others. And why was the sacrament needed for the apostles? Why does the Lord establish this Sacrament several hours before His death, what does He want to achieve?
To keep the apostles from sin? Well … there’s a complete failure: on the same night one of those participating will betray the Teacher, and the other will deny, the remaining ones will flee, leaving Christ alone for reprisal. The brightest, simply the brightest illustration for all who believe that the sacrament is capable of protecting itself, keeping it from sin.
What is it – even the strength not to sleep and stay awake with Him in Gethsemane was not given the sacrament to the apostles!
In general, it cannot be said that after the sacrament they change for the better. They coward, abandon the Teacher, do not believe Magdalene, who came running with joyful news: "He is risen!" What were, and remained so.
But did Christ want to make the apostles better by taking them? Did this wish to keep from the sins and mistakes of the coming hours? I dont know. I don’t think so.
But I think that He, setting the Sacrament precisely that evening, wanted to stay and be with them, and to keep them in Him and with Him. I will defeat the shepherd and the sheep will scatter – He quotes a sad prediction, and gives them all of Himself – to unite in Himself, to give strength to survive the nightmare of the coming hours.
They will be hurt, and He does not want to leave them alone in this pain. Not to do better, but to give strength and protect, to be with them at a terrible hour for them, taking them into His invisible arms. He always gives all of Himself to protect us.
And even having fled, even lost, they still remain with Him and in Him. And they return to the Risen One, because from the Last Supper they are one with Him and among themselves.
Exactly the same meaning is communion for all of us.
He gathers us all together, brother with all the saints and the Twelve. From them to us – He gathers everyone in Himself to keep and take care of Himself, shielding from the consequences of sins and giving strength to return to Him over and over again. Perhaps it is only beyond death that we can truly learn how the sacrament helps Him from the consequences of sin, because in the sacrament, united with us, He becomes closer than any sin and can obscure Him, not allowing the destruction of our soul.
And we can feel unity with Him and with each, so that we can endlessly take care of each other, as a single body – His Body, because from that Supper through all centuries the same Blood flows in our veins, permeating both time and space.
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