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Communion Meditations (2019)

 

Perfection

Originally scheduled for June 16

St. Anselm, who lived from 1033 to 1109 and was at one time the Archbishop of Canterbury, argued that God is the sum of all perfections. He brought this idea forward in the midst of the debate about what is now called the “ontological argument.” A communion meditation is far too short to discuss the philosophy. But we may pick up the central idea. In particular, may I point out three perfections of importance to us?

·         There is the perfection of kindness. Christ, on the night in which He was betrayed, he stopped and took the time to pray specifically for Peter. Satan saw Peter as a prize and thought that in the stress of that night this one would slip through Jesus’ fingers. Jesus remembered his friend even in the midst of the terror of the night before the crucifixion.

·         There is the perfection of love. Anyone could’ve told the disciples they should love one another. How much more perfect it is for the master to wash his disciples’ feet and then tell them to love one another!

·         There is the perfection of mercy. Christ did not die just for his apostles, or for the friends he had — he died for “whosoever will.” It is fascinating to think that before I was born he was merciful to me.

We can see that perfection even today. In his kindness he compels no one to join the kingdom of God — we’re all volunteers. “Softly and tenderly Jesus is calling…” His love is shown to us on the cross; no greater love than this. Perhaps most amazing of all is his mercy. Despite my sins ongoing, He always wants me back. If I will but turn in repentance he will take me back.

Communion is a reminder of these perfections. Like all reminders, it tells you about something you already know — and don’t want to forget! Therefore Christ told us to do this “in remembrance of Me.” Reminders are not normally issued for trivial things; it has to be something that is important in its own way. And — as anyone who owns a computer system that has reminders in it knows — those reminders can be repeated regularly.

So it is that Christ commands us to take the bread and the cup in remembrance of him. It is a reminder of his perfect kindness, his perfect love and his perfect mercy. Take it with an honest heart and be reminded of the love compared to which there is no greater.

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