In her book, A Stone for a Pillow, Madeleine L’Engle writes, “It is only when we know ourselves wounded, know that we have lost blood, that we are aware that we need a transfusion. The transfusion is for someone who has experienced the warning wonder of pain, and the acceptance of the loss of blood, either physically or spiritually.”
As we celebrate the Feast of the Precious Blood on July 1, do we see our reception of the blood of Christ at Eucharist as a daily transfusion of love? “There are days when I go to the altar and I am less aware of my need for a transfusion than I am on other days,” L’Engle writes. “That is all right. But I am always aware that I am tapping into the source of a tremendous power of love. The transfusion of love is not always a comfortable one, because such love may push me into letting go some cozy ideas, push me into a new way of looking at God, and therefore at myself.”
At the table of Eucharist, God accepts us as we are. But then transfused by God’s love, the Eucharist then calls us to be the body and blood of Christ for the life of the world. In this holy exchange, the real presence of Christ is reflected in lives broken and poured out in loving service of others.
As we drink from the chalice on July 1, may we re-dedicate ourselves to this mission of being for the church and the world a holy transfusion of love. May we be a transfusion of God’s tender mercy for the outcast, the stranger, the brokenhearted and betrayed, the poor, the lonely and lost, the sick and the suffering, the grieving and the guilty, the forsaken and forgotten. May we discover again in this elixir of God’s eternal love, the courage to tell the world that the new wine of compassion is still being served on the altar of our world!
With peace in the blood of Christ,
Joe Nassal, C.PP.S.
For the Leadership Team