Holy Qurbana -a mystery(Revised).
- Dear All,
In Genesis 1:3 of the holy bible, we read that when God said, "Let there be light, and there was light". At the very moment when God pronounced His word, the light came into existence. According to the theory of physics, an electromagnet can be produced by attaching a coiled wire to a battery. Bible testifies to the fact that by the holy annunciation(St.Luke 1:26-38), the Word of God(St.John1: 1-18), the 2nd person in the holy Trinity, could come down from heaven and live in human body taken from Saint Mary and could walk around on the face of earth as Christ the incarnate or Jesus of Nazareth. If these three things could happen, it is no wonder that by the word of institution followed by the epiclesis during the solemn moments of the holy service, the bread and wine offered at the holy altar can be converted into the mystical body and blood of Christ the incarnate respectively. Jesus was affirming this fact when he declared "Take and eat; this is my body..." (RefMathew26:26). "Drink of it, all of you. This is my blood of the covenant which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins" (Ref Mat 26:27-28). He further made it clear that his flesh is the real food and his blood is the real drink. (John 6:55) This word of God is fulfilled in each holy Eucharistic liturgy. See what St.Paul says of it: "The cup we use in the Lord's Supper and for which we give thanks to God: when we drink from it, we are sharing in the blood of Christ. And the bread we break: when we eat it, we are sharing in the body of Christ". (1Corinthians10:16). Hence, it is called the Eucharist, the Sacrifice, and the Cup of Salvation as said in Psalm 50:14,116:13.
As in the metabolic process, the food after digestion, forms or converted into blood called sanguification. So also, in the spiritual process, the bread and wine after the blessings, it becomes the body and blood of Christ [not the natural one (swabhavika shariram) but the one that was made into (vyapara shariram)] called sanctification. Although the bread and wine appears to be so in colour, taste and form; there is the objective real presence of Christ in the consecrated elements and so the communicants receive the real presence of Christ into their lives while receiving the body and blood of Christ through the Holy Eucharist. It is a mystery! We cannot fathom how the transformation takes place. But in the holy mystery of the Eucharist we truly receive our Lord Jesus Christ. We believe Him at his word and accept His statement, "This is my body and this blood".
When Jesus commanded his disciples, "Do this in remembrance of me" (Luke22:19), he was referring to a deeper meaning- something of a progressive nature or operation. The Hebrew term `Azkarah' used to denote the word commemoration throughout the bible, has the meaning `that which is remembered is brought from the past into present'. In Orthodox terminology, `memory' is not just a mental gymnastics but it is a living experience of the reality. In other words, it is the re-living of the past events. Like the magnetic field produced around a coiled iron bar connected to a battery, in terms of the science of sacraments, a field of spiritual energy (mystique) is there latent in and around the holy elements.
May God open our eyes to see His glory.
George Achen, Ireland.