The Body and Blood of Christ (June 23, 2019)

Today’s second reading gives us the oldest written account of the origin of Eucharist.

St. Paul reminds us that Eucharist is intimately united with the death of Jesus.

We heard him tell us: “Every time we eat this bread (Jesus’ body) and drink this cup (Jesus’ blood), we proclaim the death of the Lord until he comes again.” That means that each time we share in this Eucharistic meal, we express our willingness to share in the death of Jesus - a willingness to join him in giving ourselves for the sake of others.

Luke’s gospel reminds us that Jesus cared about feeding the many hungers of the people he served. He fed their bodies with bread, but he also fed their spirits with healing.

Do we always remember the grace and responsibility we accept when we eat and drink? The bread and cup we share are one - the body and blood of Jesus. Therefore, we who eat it must be one - forgetting ourselves completely and living for the happiness of others. Do we take care about that responsibility as we leave the Lord’s table and go about our daily living?

The Eucharist is the graced means given to us to fulfill our purpose in life - letting Jesus come alive in all we say and do. The Jesus whose body we eat and whose blood we drink is the same Jesus who is in us as we go about our day. Do we let the gentle, humble, compassionate, forgiving Jesus come alive in us in the circumstances of daily living, reaching out through us to touch others? Or do we tend to forget and let self-interest and self-gratification come alive instead?

We all give thanks each day for the gift of Eucharist we celebrate and receive. Perhaps today’s celebration can remind us once again in our humanness that the gift we receive in Eucharist - Jesus himself - is the Jesus we carry with us during the day.

May each of us learn more and more to share Jesus living in us with everyone we encounter today and every day. In this way, we continue Jesus’ work of feeding the hungers of our sisters and brothers.