for Sunday, June 22, 2014
Bread and wine. Bread to sustain our lives and wine to give joy to our
hearts. Bread because we must live and wine as a symbol of blood and
giving up our lives. Bread broken to be shared and wine given in one cup
as a sign of our unity.
The symbols that come to mind on this Solemnity are so rich and so varied.
This is a late feast and one that, in some ways, repeats Holy Thursday, to
remind us again of Jesus giving Himself for us, to remind us that God as
Father has cared for His people throughout all of history. We only
understand these mysteries in the Spirit, the gift of the Father, the
Spirit of Jesus, the Holy Spirit who invites us and empowers us to grow in
Our readings today begin with the Book of Deuteronomy, and we hear of the
care God has for His people, especially giving them food and drink in the
wilderness. These realities point us to the perfect food and drink of
Jesus. It is Jesus who sustains us in our wilderness and in the day to day
seeking of the divine. Without the food of Jesus, we are lost. Just as in
the desert, in the Book of Deuteronomy, the people would have perished
without the food and drink given them by the Lord.
The First Letter to the Corinthians invites us to reflect on our unity in
Jesus Christ. There is a clear statement in this short passage: the bread
and the wine are so that we share in Christ. In Him we are one.
The Gospel today, from the famous Chapter 6 of Saint John, speaks of bread.
More than ordinary bread, this bread given us by Jesus will enable us to
live forever. We can understand why the people rejected Jesus. Even today
if someone tries to sell us a secret medicine that would keep us alive
forever, we immediately think that such a person is a charlatan, a fake and
someone who wants something else from us, usually money. So Jesus must
have seemed to at least some of those who were following Him.
Today, on this great Solemnity of the Body and Blood of the Lord, you and I
are invited once more to faith, to believe that Jesus was telling the
truth, to believe that Jesus not only had words that give life, but that He
Himself continues to give Himself to us in this Sacrament, which is so
holy. The Body and Blood of the Lord are sacred realities given to us so
that we can live. The Body and Blood of the Lord are given for love and to
help us love.
Let us delight in the Lord! Let us feast with God! Let us adore this
presence of Jesus and renew our commitment to Him. Truly Jesus shows us
the Father and gives us the Spirit and asks us to follow Him in trust.
Come, let us adore Him.
Readings of the day:
First Reading: Deuteronomy 8.2-3, 14-16
Second Reading: 1 Corinthians 10.16-17
Gospel: John 6.51-59
Reflections are available for the following Sundays: