In the Eucharist, Two Become One Flesh 

Christ is risen! 


I am the bread of life. Your fathers ate the manna in the wilderness, and are dead. This is the bread which comes down from heaven, that one may eat of it and not die. I am the living bread which came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever; and the bread that I shall give is My flesh, which I shall give for the life of the world.” The Jews therefore quarreled among themselves, saying, “How can this Man give us His flesh to eat?” Then Jesus said to them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in you. Whoever eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day. (John 6:48-54) 

St Augustine comments on Holy Communion and our receiving the Body and Blood of Christ: 

The sacrifice you are looking at was instituted by Christ our Lord as the sacrifice of his own body and blood. His body was pierced by the spear and there flowed out water and blood, through the medium of which we have obtained the forgiveness of our sins. 


Mindful of this gracious gift, approach with fear and trembling to take part in this feast, knowing that God himself is at work in you. Recognize in this bread the body that was hanged on the cross. Recognize in this cup of wine the blood that gushed out from his pierced side. Take and eat the body of Christ, since in the body of Christ you have become Christ’s members. Take and drink the blood of Christ. 

To counter your tendency to disunity, eat that body which is the bond of your unity. So as not to appear to be without value in your own eyes, drink that blood, which is the price that was paid for you. 


When you eat this food and drink this wine, they will be transformed into your substance. Equally you will be transformed into the body of Christ, if you live in obedience and faithfulness. 

The apostle reminds us of the prediction in Scripture: ‘Two will become one flesh.’ (Ephesians. 5: 31) And elsewhere, in reference to the Eucharist itself, he asserts: ‘Because there is one bread, we who are many are one body.’ (1 Corinthians 10:17) 

You, therefore, begin to receive what you already begin to be.   (DRINKING FROM THE HIDDEN FOUNTAIN, p 337) 


Since in marriage, the two become one flesh (Matthew 19:5), it is not surprising that St Augustine also understands that because in Holy Communion two become one flesh (Christ and the communicant), it is appropriate to apply nuptial imagery to Communion. The early Church Fathers certainly thought that each baptized person is in fact united to Christ the Bridegroom in a spiritual marriage (see my post Christ the Bridegroom). What God has joined together, no one should put asunder (Matthew 19:6). Do nothing which would deny you Communion and separate you from the Savior for separation from Christ is not God’s will for anyone. 

Indeed, He is risen!