Over the past few months I been reading a book by Anselm Grün, OSB, Images of Jesus, with fifty short meditations on Jesus. At the end of the book he has a chapter entitled, “The eucharist as an encounter with Jesus.”
He includes a moving paragraph on the epiclesis of the Eucharist Prayer, a meditation which speaks to my sense of the transformation which Christ wants for all of us, which begins with the transformation of the bread and wine into the body and blood of Christ.
Two rites [in the eucharist] … affect me every day. One rite is the prayer before the transformation, the so-called epiclesis, in which with outstretched hands I call down the Holy Spirit upon the gifts of read and wine, so that they become the body and blood of Jesus. For me that is the daily prayer that the Holy Spirit will transform my work, my conflicts, my longings and wishes, my disappointments and bitternesses, so that Jesus’ spirit shines out in them. I want Jesus to come not only in bread and wine but in all that I think, speak and do. Everything is to make Christ known. And through Christ everything is to become bread and wine for men and women, something that feeds them and gladdens their hearts. (p. 174)
May God transform me and all I do, all I long for, and all I love so that we may become hope for all and a sign of God’s reign.