Bread and Wine for War and Peace (Readings for the Solemnity of Christ’s Body & Blood)

In preparation for next Sunday’s commemoration of the Solemnity of Christ’s Body and Blood, here is my “translation” of the day’s sacred texts including its special sequence, “Lauda Sion.” Please read the originals yourselves to see what they might suggest by way of practical application. To me, they say something about priesthood, its perversions, and rejection by Jesus. More universally, they call me to think revolutionary thoughts about throwing off ALL inherited structures responsible, as they are, for war and impending omnicide. As Marx taught, any criticism worth its salt begins with religion. 
GN 14: 18-20
 
Melchizedek fed Abram,
Bread and wine.
Assuring the patriarch
Of God’s favor
In his mid-east wars,
Provided the sheik
Gave the priest
A tenth of all he possessed.
 
PS 110: 1-4
 
Subsequent clergy
In Melchizedek’s line
Have done the same
For kings who tithe
Promising them
Enemies become footstools
Forever and ever!
 
 
I COR 11: 23-26
 
Jesus
Like that gnarly pastor,
Served bread and wine too
But for God’s peace
Not Melchizedek’s war.
Those who shared
His simple meal
Were to re-member the Christ
And make his presence real
As Prince of Peace.
 
Sequence Lauda Sion
 
Yes, Melchizedek’s offering
Is turned upside-down
By the priesthood’s
Severest critic.
Who feeds both
Kings and shepherds.
Apostles and us
Uniting all
And replacing
Antique class-warfare
And our own
Damnable understandings
Of Eucharist
With a picnic of peace
So that wheat and grape
Might become
OUR flesh and blood,
To afterwards incarnate
Christ’s own body
To complete his work
On earth.
 
LK 9: 11B-17

So what's the point
Of this parable's tale
(Ironically chosen
By Melchizedek's sons)
If not to say
What Eucharist's for
To feed the hungry
Towards peace not war.
No Melchizedek
No miracle
No market
No priesthood
No transubstantiation's
Required here.
“Do it yourselves”
Jesus told his friends
(And us).
And that’s just
What the apostles
(And a little boy)
Did
To everyone’s satisfaction
With lots left-over!
Let those with ears to hear . . .

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Mike Rivage-Seul's Blog

Emeritus professor of Peace & Social Justice Studies. Liberation theologian. Activist. Former R.C. priest. Married for 44 years. Three grown children. Five grandchildren.

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