The Eucharist is Food for the Journey: A Pilgrim’s Reflection Reply

By Alison Batley

“I now receive you who are the price of my soul’s redemption, I receive you who are the food for my final journey, and for the love of whom I have studied, kept vigil, and struggled; indeed, it was you, Jesus, that I preached and you that I taught.” Thomas Aquinas as he received Viaticum, his last Eucharist

Alison Batley

Alison Batley

An earnest probing of the human heart will find an internal longing for a desire that cannot be quenched by any earthly substance or worldly pleasure. As St. Augustine professes, “Our hearts are restless until we rest in You, Lord.” While on earth, we are all on a pilgrimage searching for that, which will satisfy the hunger of our hearts. We are all pilgrims on a journey of the heart towards the heavenly Jerusalem. Christ gave us the Eucharist, His most holy Body and Blood as the bread from heaven to satisfy our craving as we sojourn on the way.

Alison Batley, Mass at the Holy Sepulcher, silkscreen duotone. 2009

While on Pilgrimage to the Holy Land, my hunger was quenched in a unique way as I participated in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass in the Church of the Holy Sepulcher. Rising at dawn united me in thought to Mary Magdalene as I went to the tomb and peered in the sacred space. Kneeling to enter the small opening my thoughts were united to the wonder at what they must have felt upon reaching the empty tomb.

My heart’s journey during that celebration of the Divine Liturgy at the actual tomb is expressed in this Monoprint image entitled Mass at the Holy Sepulcher.

In this duotone monoprint, images of the Sacred Liturgy, which took place in the actual tomb of Jesus, are juxtaposed with the outer dome of the Holy Sepulcher. The Liturgy of the Word, represented in the bottom left corner draws the eye up toward the consecration of the Host, which is illuminated in the light of the dome of this sacred space. The pilgrims participating in this heavenly Mass on the right draw the viewer into contemplation.

The monotype footprints surrounding the image (below) invite all who view to join in the pilgrimage to this most sight, where the Pascal Mystery took place in time and space.

I invite you during this Sunday’s celebration to unite yourself with the intentions of all the pilgrims in Jerusalem as we celebrate the source and summit of our faith in the Eucharist on our journey together towards our heavily homeland.

Alison Batley, Pilgrim Mass at the Holy Sepulcher, monoprint, 2009

Alison Batley, Pilgrim Mass at the Holy Sepulcher, monoprint, 2009

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