Friends: let me show you something about the way the world works. We get grossed out at something that eats death. Bacteria putrefying that corpse. Mold feeding on the dead fruit. But in reality, none of us are any different. We all feed off dead things. Every single day of your life, you were either eating something dead, or you were dead. Even if you’re fasting, you’re still eating yourself. We always eat, and whatever we eat is dead. Something else always has to die for us to live. This is why the table is one of the centers of the home. We gather around it for a spiritual realization of a physical need: we are all dying, and we stave that off three times a day together. That kind of thing bonds people.
But let me show you something else about the way the world works. There is one food that isn’t dead. There is one table where death is staved off forever with a single mouthful. There is one cup where the desert of our thirst is swamped with the kind of water that turns into wine. One washing where we are cleansed from the filth of our previous meals of death. Here we eat Christ, and here we eat a food that won’t stay dead. Here we eat a food that turns us into itself. We are what we eat, and when we ate dead things, we were dead. Now we eat a living thing, and none of us will ever die again.
And though we partake of him, Christ was the one meal that Death could not digest. Death gnawed on the gristle a bit, stabbed at him with a fork that pierced him with its four tines, and swallowed. As a teacher of mine said, “If you eat a hero, be sure to chew him up first, and don’t just send him down directly.” Death, that ancient emptiness, was killed from the inside out, filled. Death’s eyes were bigger than its stomach, and Death, in eating the meal that satisfies all and forever, lost his appetite. He can no longer devour us, the solid, the filled, the living.
And Happy Easter.