COR THOUGHTS 267: Getting Drunk on God’s Wine

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In this weekend’s second reading, St. Paul tells us not to “get drunk on wine” but to be “filled with the Spirit.” There is a holy intoxication that comes as we quench our thirst on God’s Spirit. Yet how does the Spirit reach us? It doesn’t circumvent the material world. We get drunk on the Spirit precisely by drinking divinely inspired wine: “Make holy, therefore, these gifts, we pray, by sending down your Spirit like the dewfall, so that they may become for us the Body and Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ.” Christ assures us in this weekend’s gospel that his flesh is true food and his blood is true drink. “Come, eat of my food and drink of the wine I have mixed” (first reading). St. Teresa of Avila, commenting on Christ’s invitation to his bride, exclaims: “Well, then, let her drink as much as she desires and get drunk on all these wines in the cellar of God! Let her enjoy these joys, wonder at these great things, and not fear to lose her life through drinking much more than her weak nature enables her to do. Let her die at last in this paradise of delights; blessed death that makes one live in such a way.” When people get drunk on wine, what they’re really desiring is the ecstasy of union with God. The real party is the wedding feast of the Lamb. Everything else is a cheap substitute.