Corpus Christi: The Body and Blood of Christ
John 51-58 “I am the living bread that came down from heaven. Whoever eats of this bread will live forever; and the bread that I will give for the life of the world is my flesh.”
The Jews then disputed among themselves, saying, “How can this man give us his flesh to eat?”
So Jesus said to them, “Very truly, I tell you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you. Those who eat my flesh and drink my blood have eternal life, and I will raise them up on the last day; for my flesh is true food and my blood is true drink. Those who eat my flesh and drink my blood abide in me, and I in them. Just as the living Father sent me, and I live because of the Father, so whoever eats me will live because of me. This is the bread that came down from heaven, not like that which your ancestors ate, and they died. But the one who eats this bread will live forever.”
Body and Blood of Christ
A king engaged a street artist to make a painting of The Last Supper, with Jesus and his friends at a Farewell Meal, for his Banquet Room. The artist had Jesus and his friends around the supper table, but he also included all kinds of people around the table – all colours, sick and lame, men and women, young and old, beggars and misfits and some not very well thought of people.
God delights in us all
When the King saw the painting he went into a rage ,and shouted at the artist ‘Of what is this a painting ‘ The artist said ‘Your Honour ….this is a painting of God our Father who delights in all people, all saints and all sorts are welcomed to His Kingdom and his earthly banquet, and that is my understanding of the Last supper,
Holy Communion and Mass.
In holy communion Jesus states he is food and friend for the weak in the struggle and trials of life, not reward for the virtuous and holy. This is a central mystery because of the central mystery of the Incarnation. We are a people centered on the Eucharist in which is Christ gives himself to us. All graces come from there – it is ‘the summit and the fountain of our christian life’ (Vatican 2).
The gospel presents Jesus feeding the people with the ministry of his disciples. The Lord’s gift of himself in communion is given to us through each other – in the priest and the ministers at Mass, but also in the way Jesus’ love and grace come to us in life through each other. St John Chrysostom, an early christian writer, praises our faith in Jesus in the Eucharist, but says that our faith in the Eucharist is all the stronger if we believe in the presence of Jesus in each other.
Lord, Jesus, give us this day our daily bread.
Donal Neary SJ.