Holy reflections on the Lord’s Supper
My soul, where is the one who with such love does feed you,
And with his open breast and heart so pure receive you?
What kind of food is this, which now your flesh and blood
So eagerly consumes? What kind of gushing flood
That now around your heart with life and joy is spilling?
Whereby it with great love each vein of yours is filling!
It can, Christ crucified, none other be than thee
Who with thyself a meal hast fetched to share with me!
O riches’ depths so vast! Why didst thou not debate
To let more manna fall? How highly one must rate
That thou, God’s only Son, thyself wouldst have as bread,
Who from eternity hast ne’er known hunger’s dread.
What caused thee to resolve earth’s humble grape to bless
So highly that man then unto his lips could press
The blood of thy pure heart? My soul is all ablaze
And yet can find no answer to its paltry gaze.
In gold thou couldst have had thine image be imprinted
And hung it on my chest as prize jewel golden-tinted,
With diamond’s sparkling play: Thou couldst in pearls have hung
Thy lifelike likeness there, and with thy rose-blood strung!
Ah, me! What little use though had been such a measure
That I could shift thy likeness like some outward treasure
From limb to limb, albeit gold most fine,
If inwardly with sin and evil I did pine!
What profit had my soul perhaps derived from getting
New-fallen heav’nly manna? Or had gained from letting
My sin-parched soul drink freely, on fresh water dine,
If I Christ’s bread and blood-filled spring had failed to find?
Sweet Jesus, it was therefore that thou gav’st me freely
Thy precious flesh and blood, that for me they are really
A holy meal to rid my body and my soul
Of tempting food and sinful drink, and make me whole!
So dost thou send weak limbs some of thy strength abiding,
And crush the serpent’s head that in my heart’s residing!
For thy true flesh and blood for me a meal shall be
In which thou offerest thyself in love to me!
And had it not been so, I could consume instead
A slaughtered Easter lamb, and have on shadows fed:
Thou hast removed the shadow though, made all things clear:
This is my body and my blood – no shadows here!
Let others take the shadow of thy affirmation
And on this base their faith as well as their salvation,
For me though all my bliss is in this fact contained
That in the Sacrament my Jesus I have gained!