Turning now to the New Testament:
“In the beginning…” John begins his Gospel with the same words that began the entire Bible, and the story of abundance, in order to remind us of God’s great generosity from the very beginning:
Here are two versions taken from that early part of John’s Gospel:
Read these excerpts from John 1
And the Word became flesh and lived among us, and we have seen his glory, the glory as of a father’s only son, full of grace and truth….From his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace. The law indeed was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. No one has ever seen God. It is God the only Son, who is close to the Father’s heart, who has made him known.
The Word became flesh and blood, and moved into the neighborhood…one-of-a-kind glory, like Father, like Son, Generous inside and out, true from start to finish….We all live off his generous bounty, gift after gift after gift. We got the basics from Moses, and then this exuberant giving and receiving, this endless knowing and understanding — all this came through Jesus, the Messiah. No one has ever seen God, not so much as a glimpse. This one-of-a-kind God-Expression, who exists at the very heart of the Father, has made him plain as day.
What did Jesus do? We learn as much about Jesus from what he did as what he said. In the Gospel of Mark, there are two stories about feeding large crowds from a small amount of food, with an abundance left over.
Read: Mark 6:34-44
According to Walter Brueggemann, Jesus “demonstrated that the world is filled with abundance and freighted with generosity. If bread is broken and shared, there is enough for all. Jesus is engaged in the sacramental, subversive reordering of public reality.” (emphasis added)
It is also worth mentioning that the disciples (despite everything they had seen already) saw scarcity, Jesus saw abundance.
The breaking of the bread, and the sharing of wine as reminders of Jesus’ sacrifice is called “eucharist.” It is a Greek word that means “to give thanks.”
How do you respond each week to the word and the symbols of “Eucharist” as “a gratitude”?