The Son of God said to His disciples, “He who absorbs my Word, absorbs me. In reality, he eats my body and drinks my blood!”
Such is the sense of the words the Son of God spoke when He instituted the Last Supper as a remembrance of His life on earth, symbolized through the meal. How then could it happen that fierce controversies about these words arose among the learned and among the churches. Their meaning is so simple and so clear when man takes as their basis that the Son of God, Christ Jesus, was the Word of God which had become flesh.
How could He express Himself more clearly than by simply saying: “He who absorbs My Word eats of My Body and drinks of My Blood!” Also when He said: “The Word is truly My Body and My Blood!” He had to speak in this way because He Himself was the Living Word in flesh and blood. All transmissions, however, time and again, left out the most important point: the reference to the Word which walked on earth! It was considered insignificant because it was not understood. Through this however, the whole Mission of Christ was misunderstood, mutilated and distorted.
Despite their faith, even the disciples of the Son of God at that time were not capable of understanding the words of their Master aright, just as they had never fully grasped so much of what He had said. Indeed Christ Himself often enough expressed His sadness at this. They simply formed the meaning of the Last Supper in such a way as they, in their childlike simplicity, had understood it. It is therefore quite natural that they passed on words which were not quite clear to them in the way in which they comprehended them, and not as the Son of God had meant them. —
Jesus was the Word of God become flesh! Thus he who absorbed His Word aright also received Jesus Himself.
And if a man lets this Word of God which is offered to him come to life within himself so that it becomes an integral part of himself, of his thoughts and his actions, he thereby also lets the spirit of Christ come to life within himself, for the Son of God was the Incarnate Living Word of God!
Man must make an effort to really fathom this train of thought aright. He should not merely read it and talk about it, but he must also try to make it come alive by quietly experiencing its meaning in living pictures. Then he will also truly experience the Last Supper, providing he recognizes that he receives the Living Word of God thereby, the meaning and intent of which he must first thoroughly know, of course.
It is not quite as easy as many believers think it to be. To partake of Holy Communion apathetically will be of no benefit; for what is living, as is the Word of God, must also be accepted as a living thing. The Church cannot breathe life into Holy Communion for someone else unless the communicant has prepared himself beforehand to receive it in the right way.
One also sees pictures intended to illustrate the beautiful words: “I am knocking!” Such pictures are quite right. The Son of God is standing at the door of the cottage, knocking and desiring admittance. But here man has already added some of his own thoughts by showing a set table through the partly-open door of the cottage. This gives rise to the idea that no one who asks for food and drink should be turned away. The thought is beautiful and corresponds to Christ’s Word, but it has been interpreted in too narrow a sense. “I am knocking” means more! Charity forms but a small part of the meaning of God’s Word.
When Christ says: “I am knocking” He means that the Word of God embodied in Him is knocking on the door of the human soul, not asking for admittance but demanding it! The Word in its entirety, as it has been given to man, is to be received by him. His soul is to open its door to admit the Word! If the soul complies with this demand, the physical actions of the earth-man will naturally accord with what the “Word” demands.
Man invariably seeks only intellectual understanding, which means analysis, and therewith diminishment; a placing within narrow boundaries. Therefore, time and again he runs the risk of recognizing only fragments of all that is great, just as it happened again in this case.
The Incarnation, i.e., the becoming human of the Living Word of God, is always bound to remain a mystery to man on earth because the beginning of this happening took place in the Divine Sphere. The human spirit does not possess the perceptive capacity to penetrate into the Divine Sphere wherefore the first link in the chain of events which led to the later Incarnation will always remain closed to human understanding. It is therefore not surprising that just this symbolic act of the Son of God, as expressed in the distribution of the bread and the wine, could up till now not be understood by mankind. However, if after this explanation, which enables man to construct a picture in his mind, he still persists in zealously agitating against it, he merely proves that the limit of his perception ends in the Spiritual Sphere. By defending the hitherto prevailing unnatural explanation of the Words of Christ he would only attest to an unscrupulous obstinacy.