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Friday, July 20, 2012

Why is Communion often signified with a wheat stalk and grapes?

As a Catholic, you most likely have seen the images of wheat and grapes in many of the reading material you’ve seen, especially about the Lenten season. Wheat and grapes often symbolize abundance but it has a much greater significance in relation to Jesus and the Last Supper.

The Significance of Bread and Wheat at the Last Supper

During the Last Supper, Jesus took bread, thanked God for it and then shared it with his disciples. The bread he told the disciples symbolized his body.

Wheat represents that bread Jesus shared with his disciples. Wheat is the most common grain to make bread.

It was related to Jesus’ death and his return to earth one day. Just as wheat dies each season only to come back the next one, Jesus has died and will return another time.

The Significance of Wine and Grapes at the Last Supper

Wine was the common drink during meals celebration. For this reason, Jesus had wine at his Last Supper.

He took the wine, presented it to his disciples, and told them to drink from the cup. He then said the wine signifies the blood he will lose on the cross. Every time they drink blood from that point on should serve as a remembrance of Him and his pain and suffering for sins.

The grapes signify this part of the last supper since wine is made from grapes. It’s also because Jesus felt that the vines of grapes stood for the work his disciples would do after he was gone. Grape vines are long, intertwine between each other and bear great fruit. He wanted the disciples to extend themselves to share what they know about Jesus to others so that they could produce great things in people.

 Wheat and Grapes: Eat, Drink and Be Merry

Another significance of wheat and grapes is the overall image of food for the Last Supper. This was a time to eat, drink and listen to Jesus’ final words before his death. It was a calm, happy time, just as the image is of the wheat and grapes.
first holy communion

How Catholics Relate Wheat and Grapes to Their Life

Catholics receive the “wheat and grapes” whenever they take communion, just as the disciples did during the Last Supper.

By doing they reflect how they now have taken the body and blood of Jesus into their body 
and will take it with them as they leave Mass and go on to live their life. They are reminded they should live their life in accordance to God’s Word. They are the vines that extend to bear great fruit in life.

How to You Can Increase Your Communal Experience

As you prepare to take communion, think about the Last Supper and imagine yourself sitting at that great table listening to Jesus. Imagine what He would have wanted from you.

Take these thoughts and apply them to your life in the coming week. As you leave church, remember the reflections you’ve made and keep them in the forefront of your mind. You will see how it will start to affect the things you do and say to others.

This is what Jesus wanted from His disciples. He wanted them to go on with life after His death and lead it in the way He would have if was still on Earth – sharing God’s message with people and helping as many people as possible.

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