My Three Favorite Scriptures

Thanks to Bryan at Calling All Witnesses, I’ve been tagged in a blogging meme! I didn’t know what that was. It turns out that a blogging meme is a topic that is passed from blogger to blogger, sort of like a big game of tag. Each person passes the meme to three others, and so it grows, sort of like compound interest. The theme for this meme is “My Three Favorite Scriptures”

Here are the rules:

  1. Write a post on your three favorite verses from the Bible and why you like them.
  2. Link back to this post.
  3. In your post tag three other bloggers to carry this theme forward, link to you, and tag additional bloggers.

Its been a busy week for me, but now I am all over it. So here are my three favorite scripture passages.

  • The Eucharist
  • John 6:53
    Jesus said to them, “Amen, amen, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you do not have life within you.”

    This is just a snippet of Christ’s teaching on the Eucharist. Once I truly had digested this chapter of John, I wondered how anyone could not see the truth of the Catholic church. “My flesh is true food, and my blood is true drink.”
    Many couldn’t handle it and left, but Jesus didn’t try to get them back. And he didn’t offer any other explanation for his words, which he would have done, for the sake of his apostles, if it had been merely a parable.
    This is the first verse I had my kids memorize, because if we’ve got the Eucharist, we’ve got it all.

  • Marriage
  • Ephesians 5:25-26
    Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ loved the church and handed himself over for her to sanctify her, cleansing her by the bath of water with the word, that he might present to himself the church in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish.

    And this is the ultimate description of the role of the husband in the vocation of marriage. It is a Christ-like role of self-sacrifice. It is a sanctifying role. There are a million little deaths to self that a husband must go through, and this passage inspires me like nothing else. What a calling! What a responsibility!

  • A Blessing
  • Numbers 6:24-26
    The LORD bless you and keep you!
    The LORD let his face shine upon you, and be gracious to you!
    The LORD look upon you kindly and give you peace!

    This is the Aaronic prayer or blessing. God gave this to Moses, instructing him to tell Aaron to use this blessing to bless the Israelites. When my oldest daughter was still quite young, I saw a talk by Jeff Cavins (the Great Adventure, Bible Timeline) where he suggested using it to bless your children every night. I haven’t missed a night since, and my kids can’t go to sleep without it.

So there it is. My top three scripture verses. And now I am handing it off to three others.
Here are the candidates. Hope they accept. Even if they don’t, their blogs are worth the visit:
Chris at This Pilgrim’s Progress
Joe at Average Catholic Joe
Kortni at Heart Shaped Stone

Thoughts on My Son’s First Communion

A week ago, my eldest son made his first communion. He was nervous. We were excited. He was very handsome in his white tuxedo.

There is so much we need to teach our children about communion. There is so much I know I still need to teach my kids. The biggest thing, I think, is that communion is not just a spiritual action. With every other sacrament, with every other ceremony, we encounter Christ in spiritual ways, in intellectual ways, and in emotional ways. But in the Holy Eucharist, we encounter Christ physically, and we are privileged to undergo a fundamental and very real transformation.

The Body of Christ

The following quote, very appropriately, showed up in the Office of Readings earlier this week.

Saint Paul says in his letter to the Ephesians that we are members of his body, of his flesh and bones. He is not speaking of some spiritual and incorporeal kind of man, for spirits do not have flesh and bones. He is speaking of a real human body composed of flesh, sinews and bones, nourished by the chalice of Christ’s blood and receiving growth from the bread which is his body.
St. Irenaeus

The first thing our kids must know – must have drilled into their heads until there is no doubt – is that this is, really and no kidding, the actual body and blood of Christ. Our culture is so full of happy little fantasies that we pretend are real (the tooth fairy, Santa Claus, etc.), and we spend so much time with TV, movies, and books that blur the line between reality and fantasy, that it would be natural for kids to assume that we are just speaking in one big metaphor.

That is a dangerous delusion. Why? Because due to the fact of the truth of the Eucharist, taking communion becomes something far more profound than we usually give it credit for.

What Happens to Us?
When we eat, the food that we eat performs two functions. It provides energy for us to take action, and it provides building blocks for growing our bodies or for replacing parts of our bodies that have “worn” out.

So when we eat and drink Christ, since it is really Him physically, and since it is real food, the process of eating makes those particles of Christ a part of our own bodies. That thought gives me the chills. Parts of my body are actual built out of Christ. My body is being transformed, bit by bit. This sheds a whole knew light on the truth of the Church being the body of Christ.

(Note: Of course these particle cease being the body and blood of Christ once they are no longer materially bread and wine, but they once were, and that’s my point.)

This perspective on the Eucharist makes me even more enthusiastic to receive as often as possible. Grace is a wonderful thing to receive, and I never want to diminish its importance in any way. But actually incorporating Christ’s body, blood, soul, and divinity into my own body and soul is mind-blowing. I hope I can pass on this enthusiasm to my kids.