Breaking bread with Jesus
11 June, 2023 Body and Blood of Christ, Year A
Listen to reflection
Jesus had many meals with his followers. During those times of fellowship, Jesus shared his vision of God’s Kingdom and he called his followers to live, love and serve as one family. Of all their meals together, the one that stayed most in the memory of the disciples was the Last Supper.
At that meal, Jesus gave himself to the disciples in a way he’d never done before and in a way that anticipated the death he would die for them and for all, the following day. By giving himself in the form of bread and wine, Jesus declared himself to be their life-giving food and drink. By calling on them to eat and drink, Jesus asked them to embrace a life of sacrificial love; to give themselves to him and to each other, just as he was giving himself to them. It’s because of that last meal, which was a beginning not an end, that we’re here today.
Today’s feast focuses our attention on Jesus’ Body and Blood: his life shared, offered, surrendered, sacrificed and broken for us. We know and encounter him as he comes to meet us in the proclamation of his living Word, in the life and witness of those gathered with us and in the gift of himself in the Eucharist.
The Eucharist feeds and nourishes us on Christ’s life and to its celebration; we bring the offering of our daily Christian living. The gift of our lives for the betterment of each other is the summit to which we aspire and the source of our renewal and strength to live what we say, do, celebrate and receive.
We come before God then, offering our living sacrifice and service in thanksgiving; captured by the words said at each Mass: “Pray sisters and brothers that my sacrifice and yours may be acceptable to God, the almighty Father”. To this invitation we reply: “May the Lord accept the sacrifice at your hands for the praise and glory of His name, for our good and for the good of all His holy Church”.
What we offer to God and the sacrifice we make to the praise and glory of God, for our good and the good of all of God’s people, is ourselves and our efforts to live a Christ-like way now, represented in the bread and wine brought and placed upon the altar. In response, we receive the greatest gift that God can give to us: God’s own life in God’s beloved Son, the Bread of Life.
Pope Francis reminds us that the Eucharist is not a prize for the perfect. Corpus Christi is to become what we eat, to be another Christ for the world, to be Eucharistic in our self-giving love, service and embrace of all people in the manner that Jesus showed the world.
David J Hore CSsR
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