Exodus 16:1-5, 9-15
John 20:1-2, 11-18
"The Lord gave them bread from heaven." Ps 78: 24b
In this story from the Old Testament, the Lord fed his people with bread from heaven each morning. Today, in our time, the Lord gives us Himself each day in the Eucharist, also bread from heaven.
In March 2000 Jim and I were on a prayer team for a high school retreat. During that weekend I got to pray before the Blessed Sacrament in a little room in a rustic cabin. I would like to share the reflection that I wrote during that prayer time.
"Here I am in a cozy little room with soft lamplight and the sound of a stream rushing by right outside the door. The peace in this room is tangible. The presence in this room is holy – Holy – HOLY for to my right on a small makeshift altar is what appears to be a tiny piece of bread imprinted with a cross. Such a small thing, and yet now containing so much!"
"For this bread is a consecrated host. It is the place where all love dwells, where the One who gave His life willingly for us now resides. Here is my Lord and my God – Jesus Christ – immortal, holy, awesome God! Here is the Lamb of God. Here is Emmanuel – truly God with us. Here is the One who set this whole universe into motion, who formed the depths of the sea, who created all living creatures and our own incredible intricate physical bodies. And here He is in this host that someone will consume, for He is giving Himself in this way to bring us life. He is now food for our journey. His presence in the form of this bread will become a part of us physically – His atoms mixing with ours. And one day we will be like Him for that is the work He must do in each of us. He will help us to become like Him – day by day, step by step, molecule by molecule."
"Lord Jesus, thank you for making yourself – body, soul, blood and divinity – so available to us; so near to us; so touchable; so simple; and yet so totally mystery and unfathomable. Jesus I adore you and everything within me cries ‘Holy’."
Thank you Lord for our church which makes your gift of "bread from heaven" available to us each day.
Janice Carleton and her husband Jim live in Portland, OR and partner with Passionist Fr. Cedric Pisegna in Fr. Cedric Ministries. Janice also leads women’s retreats. She is the mother of 4 grown children and grandmother of 2, soon to be 3. Visit her website: www.jcarleton.com or email her at [email protected].