This Sunday the Church celebrates the feast of Corpus Christi, which means The Body and The Blood of Jesus Christ. We remember gratefully the mysterious selfgift of Jesus in the Eucharist. The Gospel passage describing the multiplication of bread gives us a foretaste of the spiritual food, which Jesus instituted in the form of bread and wine, at the verge of his ministry, to those who would be spiritually hungry.
The narration of the multiplication of bread is more than a miraculous act of Jesus: “… taking the five loaves and the two fish, and looking up to heaven, Jesus said the blessing over them, broke them, and gave them to the disciples to set before the crowd. They all ate and were satisfied. And when the leftover fragments were picked up, they filled twelve wicker baskets” (Luke 9:1617). More than the feeding of the people, this miracle shows the abundance of God’s love to the extent of everyone’s satisfaction.
The Lord offers the same abundance of his love to all those who participate at the Eucharistic table, in order to satisfy their spiritual hunger. In his Encyclical Letter Ecclesia de Eucharistia (Church of the Eucharist), Pope St. John Paul II states in n.16: “The Eucharist is a true banquet, in which Christ offers himself as our nourishment”. The believers are truly nourished by the Body of Christ, in the form of bread, broken for the salvation of the world and by the Blood of Christ, in the form of wine, poured out to seal our covenantal relationship with God. The Lord of the banquet, thus, provides an opportunity for bonding, intimacy and communion here and now in the sacred meal.
The Holy Eucharist is the true Sacrament of love and communion. While contemplating, on this feast of the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ, we have a duty to offer God’s love towards all our brothers and sisters. The Eucharistic mystery inspires us to commit ourselves to a service of charity towards our neighbors for building up a more just and fraternal world.
God bless you,
Fr. Arul Joseph V.