O Sacred Banquet
Medium: Coloured Pencil
“Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world. Blessed are those who are called to his supper.”
~The Eucharistic Prayer
The “pelican in her piety” is a beautiful Christian symbol, an ancient representation of Eucharistic nourishment. In the medieval world, the pelican was believed to wound her own breast in order to feed her young, giving life to them out of her own flesh.
How blessed are we to have a Saviour who loves us so deeply that He feeds us out of His own Flesh! He gave Himself up to the death on the Cross for us, that we might be given life through His sacrifice. He hovers over us like a mother with His Mercy, offering His sinful children His own Body and Blood as our soul’s sustenance. In every Communion, He heals the wounds of our fallen nature by nourishing us with the manna of His divine nature.
Above the pelican and her young is the Sacred Heart of Jesus – a Heart that is Mercy and Love – with wheat and grapes proceeding from it. This symbolizes the bread and the wine that truly becomes the Body and Blood of Jesus at every Eucharist, our sacred banquet. Beside the pelican’s nest sits a dandelion, a symbol of the Passion, for it is a bitter herb. The bitterness of Golgotha procured for us the incomparable sweetness of the Bread of Life: “O happy fault, that merited for us so great a Saviour!” (The Exultet)
In the Eucharist, we are given to experience so tangibly the reality that God loves us beyond measure. We see Him offered on the altar in atonement for our sins. We taste Him and savour His divine embrace. Christ unites Himself to us personally, as an individual – one of the precious sons and daughters for whom He shed His Most Precious Blood.
May we relish our Communions which unite us so intimately with our Saviour upon Earth, and let the praise and thanksgiving of our hearts ascend to Heaven.