Earlier today while sharing a blessed and inspiring day with our staff at an amazing community of faith – Mission Helpers of the Sacred Heart in Towson, Maryland – I came across this communion chalice, and could not help from bringing it home.
On Maundy Thursday Jesus broke bread for the last time with his first disciples and gave them three things: the gift of communion with himself; the blessing of community with one another; and the challenge of the greatest – and most difficult – commandment to love one another. As with everything Jesus did, the confluence of these were neither random nor coincidental.
Jesus knew exactly how difficult the commandment to love one another would be. He knew how often even the most faithful disciples would be tempted to disrespect and disregard one another. He knew the human propensity to be consumed with selfishness. He knew the power of the drive to satisfy our own desires.
And so in response Jesus offered the cup of salvation to provide the courage to overcome the temptations of self. In the sacramental chalice we receive the gift of communion with him, and, just as importantly, the redeeming power of community to deliver us from ourselves. He knew the antidote to self-centeredness is community.
In the communion chalice we receive the power of community so that we would receive the strength to respond to the most central, and yet the most challenging, commandment: to be like him and love one another.
May God bless our community and our communion, that they would draw us closer to God and one another.
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