Reflections - June 18, 2017

“Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him on the last day.”  Jn. 6:54.
 
Today the Church celebrates the feast of “Corpus Christi” or the Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ.  This feast proclaims the faith in the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist with His body, blood, soul and divinity.
 
In today’s readings we reflect on the mystery of the love of Christ, who is given as food for eternal life.
 
In the first reading from the Book of Deuteronomy we find that the Lord gives them the “bread from heaven”, the manna, for their walk through the desert to the “Promised Land”.  For us the Promised Land is the “heavenly Jerusalem”.
 
But the Eucharist is also a symbol of unity.  How well St. Paul puts it:  “Because the loaf of bread is one, we, though many, are one body, for we all partake of the one loaf.”  1 Cor. 10:17.  The message after two thousand years is:  that the Eucharist makes us become a community sharing the faith in Christ and sharing in the Christian values of respect for life and the defense of marriage and the family, united to the Pope and to the magisterium of the Church in a world with so much confusion and crisis of Christian values.  The Eucharist also invites us to be:  “bread of life to a world that lives in a deep existential emptiness”.
 
For this world in which you and I live, the Lord tells us in the Gospel:  “I am the living bread that came down from heaven; whoever eats this bread will live forever”.  Some think that only in eternal life, which, of course, is a gift from God, but there is something more here.  It is that when you live united with Christ in the Eucharist you begin to participate in His divine life “and of His spiritual strength that comes from on high” to help you transform the world and be builders of a better future.  We have this example in the saints who were collaborators in the Plan of Salvation with heroic humility and patience.
 
I invite you this week to visit the Blessed Sacrament and worship Him.  In this Sunday’s Mass enjoy the encounter of friendship and gratitude with Christ in the Eucharist.  But also ask yourself:  Do you share your friendship and joy with others?