Homily June 2, 2013 Solemnity of The Body and Blood of Christ
One thing that has not changed from the beginning of human life is the need to eat and drink. We instinctively know that this is necessary for our well-being and living. Whether we share the fare of a well stocked pantry or the left over handouts or leavings of a sometimes uncaring world, our subsistence depends on it. Whenever we gather, for whatever reason, it seems food and eating is always in someway involved. We see today in the Gospel where an enthusiastic crowd came out but did not bring food. This feeding of the crowd was meant to foreshadow and point the way to the Eucharist, a food meant to fill a different hunger, a hunger for the Spiritual, for the Life of God.
Jesus as we know came to live and die and rise so we could have life. But that life needs him and He gave us a real and tangible way to have Him and at the same time have a special food or nourishment for the journey. He as we know gave us his body and blood, which were given up in his death. He has given us these in the simple form of bread and wine. Both are the mainstays of diet in many cultures and are common today.
Most important is to remember that these are His Body and His Blood. The very thought was so awesome in past centuries that people feared to receive the Eucharist saying they were not worthy. Forms of worship, like benediction and perpetual adoration replaced what was meant to be a daily food the same as we need in life every day. Fortunately, that changed in the last century and even the cup was restored the people of God, so that all around the table shared the Body AND Blood of Christ. Thus a common awareness arises that in that body and blood we are in a real way united and called to be one with Christ and with one another. In Him we become very specially called to reach out to share our faith by being Christian, which means to meet the needs and concerns of others as best we can, as Jesus did when He walked the earth. The world was broken then and it sure is now. The difference is we know that the brokenness of Christ’s Body can alleviate the brokenness of the world. Our role, while small, is to do and give as Jesus did. We are called to reach out to the poor. While there will always be the poor, there should always be love and care for them.
So let us remember that we are a Eucharistic community, one bread, one cup. We share one table in a banquet open to all. All we are called to do is believe and share and Jesus with the Spirit fills us and make us one in them and each other. This is the real power of reaching out to a broken world.