This week we Lectio the Liturgy with the Prayer after Communion for the Sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time.
Having fed upon these heavenly delights, we pray, O Lord, so that we may always long for that food by which we truly live. Through Christ our Lord.
In this prayer, the word delights stood out to me because we usually hear it used as a verb. We read in scripture many times about delighting in the Lord, or how the Lord delights in us. However, today delight is a noun.
In the Latin form of the prayer, the word for delight is deliciis, and it means pleasure or luxury. It’s not just a delight, it is a heavenly delight and we are fed by it.
In the prayer, the Latin word for fed is pasti meaning to eat, or supply with food. Eating, as in consuming, Holy Communion our heavenly delight. I had to about our heavenly delights for a while because while we appear to consume a natural bread, or communion host, we also eat a supernatural bread.
In Psalm 78:24-25, David writes of the Israelites, "he rained down on them manna to eat and gave them the grain of heaven. Man ate of the bread of the angels.” (ESV) Manna was a supernatural food, too.
Manna must have been amazing. No one had seen it or tasted it before or has seen it or tasted it since the Israelites left their desert wanderings. The people didn’t know how it originated or where it came from. There was no natural explanation for this phenomena, but this supernatural food supplied what natural food could not. Eating manna was a daily supernatural occurrence for them.
Holy Communion is a supernatural occurrence for us, too. Remember that we are more than physical beings. We also are supernatural. A communion host may look natural, but if we look through spiritual eyes, we see that in the supernatural, it is much greater.
As I’ve been studying this prayer, and as I’ve gone to Mass since I’ve been meditating on it, I have been more intentional about reminding myself that what I’m receiving isn’t only a physical bread. The supernatural attributes of Communion are just like manna. We can’t live without it.
In the prayer we ask God that we would long for for the food by which we truly live. To long for something is to desire it, to seek it. If we truly know and accept that it is through this heavenly food that we have life, how could anything keep us away?
Thank you for praying with me,