So far, it’s been easy to be thankful for being taken and blessed, and even for Jesus being broken for us, but here’s the one that a bit tougher: If you feed on Jesus by faith, you can give thanks because you have been, are being and will be BROKEN.
In his book Living Prayer, Robert Benson expresses our hesitancy to thank God for brokenness:
“To take the Eucharist, say the ancients, is to enter into the fourfold pattern—taken, blessed, broken, shared . . . I have always enjoyed the part . . . that suggests to us that we are taken by God, that we are chosen. ‘You did not choose Me, I chose you,’ we are told Jesus said to His friends once, and I claim it for myself as often as I feel I can get away with it. I remind myself of the hope of it when the darkness comes, and I celebrate the astonishment of it when the Light is all around me.
I am happy too to think about being blessed by God as well. The notion of God being so taken with me that I have been given gifts and graces and a place to belong that belongs only to me seems so fine and good. And I particularly enjoy the part about being shared. It seems perfectly fine to me that something of who I am can be valuable and useful and meaningful to God and to others in some way . . .
To be among those who have been taken and blessed and sharedby and with and for God is good. It is the broken part that I do not care for very much. It is the broken part, however, that makes everything else about the Eucharist worth making over. The lesson is that Jesus of Nazareth—the most chosen and most blessed and most shared one of us all—was the most broken of us all . . . if we are to be the body of Christ, then we are to suffer the fate of Christ—we are to be broken that we might be shared” (pages 39-40).
[This post is adapted from the sermon “Taken, Blessed, Broken, Shared”]