for Sunday, June 6, 2010
Melchisedek brought out bread and wine and blessed Abram. Already in this
first reading from the Book of Genesis we see strong symbolism in bread and
wine. Why is there a mention of bread and wine? This is not clear but we
know that these elements become later the elements used by Jesus at the
Last Supper to give Himself to us forever and always. Melchisedech comes
out of nowhere and disappears back to nowhere. He is a very mysterious
figure in the Hebrew Scriptures and is seen as an image of the Messiah who
is to come. Melchisedech is both king and priest, which are the attributes
of the Messiah. Abram is our Father in Faith. It is as though in this
passage we can see foreshadowed the mystery of the Incarnation and
The second reading is from the First Letter to the Corinthians and shows
us how Jesus used bread and wine to give Himself to us. This is the oldest
known account of the institution of the Eucharist. These early followers
of Jesus could no more clearly understand this mystery than we can today.
We know that Jesus is Lord and gives Himself to us forever, but to
understand that mystery would take all eternity and even more than that.
The Gospel today from Saint Luke tells us that Jesus and His Church give
us food every day. We can think of material food but we know that God is
more concerned with our whole being than He is with just our corporal
needs. When people starve to death, as is all to common today, it is not a
sign that God has abandoned them but that the hands of Jesus have not yet
touched all people through those of us who already believe.
God in Jesus Christ is concerned about supersubstantial bread, the bread
of life, the bread of faith, the bread broken each day as we struggle to be
faithful. We expect God and His Church to give us supersubstantial bread.
God is faithful. His Church is incarnated in humans and so is never
completely faithful. What a mystery and a grace it is to be able to see
the Divine Presence within the Church, even with all of its stains and
This Solemnity of Corpus Christi is not just about Jesus giving Himself,
Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity, in the Holy Eucharist. It is also about
that Eucharist transforming the Church, His body. It is about that
Eucharist transforming us, because we are Church. May this wonderful
solemnity touch our hearts, our minds, our souls, so that we can be
transformed as the people of God into the living presence of our Divine
Lord Jesus present in this world. May the Body and Blood of the Lord
remove our sins and stains so that the loving and compassionate face of
Christ may give light to all our world. Amen.
Readings of the day:
Reflections are available for the following Sundays: