“This is my body broken for you”: a profound personal experience in Bethlehem

Sharing another’s Journey is a privilege and I feel very honoured to find a small space in this one.

Church Set Free

 This post is dedicated to Brother Andrew. I recalled the event and decided to write about it following a conversation with him on my previous post, Martha and Mary. Christmas Blessings to all.

It was Sunday, near the end of our pilgrimage to the Holy Land, February 2000. There was a small group of us from West Yorkshire, England. What better way to end our week than to celebrate Mass in our Lord’s birthplace? We joined in the young person’s service at mid-day in the Roman Catholic Church in Manger Square.

The church was brimming over with young Palestinian Christians. The service sheets were typed in Arabic and were incomprehensible to us. The beauty of the Roman Catholic Mass is that it follows the same pattern wherever you go and whatever language it is spoken and sung in. You may not know what readings or hymns are being proclaimed…

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One comment

  1. In response to your Testimonial of Faith, Julia, I felt I should offer my realization of the bread that is flesh and the wine that is blood that without which there is no life.

    It was very simple and very sudden, I had often read the narrative in John 5 – 6 of the Feeding of the 5000 and the dialogue with the Scribes and Pharisees in the Synagogue at Capernaum; yet until this day my mind was unopened to what the Saviour was saying.

    “Very truly I tell you, UNLESS you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you. 54 Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise them up at the last day. 55 For my flesh is real food and my blood is real drink. 56 Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me, and I in them John 6:53-55

    AND

    55 For my flesh is real food and my blood is real drink. 56 Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me, and I in them. 57 Just as the living Father sent me and I live because of the Father, so the one who feeds on me will live because of me. 58 This is the bread that came down from heaven. Your ancestors ate manna and died, but whoever feeds on this bread will live forever.

    It is, however this phrase which most of all captured my attention “UNLESS you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you.” For I had not believed what I knew this implied.

    And suddenly it was as clear as day that the sacrament once scorned through unbelief was now understood and available, but to one who converted, not to an high Church Anglican who believed in Consubstantiation.

    It was not long before all of us entered the local Catholic Parish down in Campbelltown N.S.W. where I served as Catechist, Lector, Chorister and Treasurer for our Conference of Saint Vincent DE Paul for at least 15 years. Our sons became Altar servers and attended the local Catholic Schools and one of them entered the Seminary at Homebush but left with his boyfriend 4 years later.

    Now I am an ordained Minister in a small non-affiliated Community, a current mix of Catholic, Anglo-catholic, Anglican, Evangelical Anglican and Methodist and rewriting sacramental Theology so that no one ‘has no life in them’. Not the Teaching but the way it is perceived by the Christian to bring about the experience of the Sacrament of the Heart.

    Because somewhere something got lost in the interpretation and with the schisms in the Church and the refutation of Doctrine or the reinterpretation of it many are now in the position of being cut off from this wonderful Life giving Communication between Christ and His Church.

    Like

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