for Sunday, June 2, 2013
Corpus Christi, the Body and Blood of the Lord Jesus Christ, is about Jesus
giving Himself to us to eat and to be transformed. Lots of the early
disciples of Jesus left Him because of this teaching. This is not an easy
teaching to accept.
Today we are given a section of the Gospel of Saint Luke to read. This
small section reflects one of the aspects of the life of Jesus that
everyone recognized: He always shared a meal, he often gave food to others
and that He enjoyed eating with others. Thus breaking bread with Jesus
became a sign of His first followers.
Often in the Gospels and in the New Testament we hear that His followers
recognized Jesus in the breaking of the bread.
This solemnity emphasizes that Jesus gives Himself to us, not just in a
symbolic way but as real flesh and blood. This reality was fought over and
even today many find it difficult to believe that it is really the flesh of
Jesus and His blood that we eat and drink. This belief comes from Jesus
Himself and from His early disciples. We should never be surprised that
others find it difficult to believe.
We are invited to believe, however, and to walk with the Lord Jesus. It is
He who invites us into His inner chamber and tells us clearly: I give
myself to you, body and blood, soul and divinity.
The first reading, from the Book of Genesis, reflects this mystery by
giving us another mystery. Melchizedek comes from nowhere and disappears
again to nowhere, a priest and a king who simply appears on the scene.
This is not so unusual in the early parts of Scripture. Yet our Jewish
ancestors in the faith were able to see the special role of Melchizedek as
part of the mystery of Godís plans for His people.
The second reading is from the First Letter to the Corinthians and is the
earliest account that we have of the Last Supper and of what Jesus did and
said in that Last Supper. The testimony of the early followers of Jesus is
found in the letters of the New Testament and we find this strong belief in
the presence of the Lord Jesus in the breaking of the bread: not just a
symbolic presence but a real presence.
The Church, both East and West, has always accepted this true and real
presence of the Lord Jesus in this sacrament that we now call Mass or
Eucharist. May our faith be strengthened today. How we long to have this
personal encounter with the Living God! May we rejoice in the Lord and
give Him praise.
Readings of the day:
First Reading: Genesis 14.18-20
Second Reading: 1 Corinthians 11.23-26
Gospel: Luke 9.11b-17
Reflections are available for the following Sundays: