The Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ
Today we celebrate the Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ. What a great feast to remember when Jesus took ordinary bread and wine and changed it into his own Body and Blood to nourish our souls and to connect us all the more with him. In the readings today bread is being used in a blessing, a remembrance, and as food for the hungry.
In the Ancient Jewish tradition bread and wine are blessed as a way to begin the Sabbath or Shabbat. The challah is baked at home and is traditionally six strands of dough braided together. It is a reminder of blessings received from the six days of work and uniting them with our lives. The bread is broken with the hands and a knife is not used because it is seen as a symbol of violence. Wine symbolizes joy and life. The blessing of the wine is recited first out of respect for the sacrifice that the poor makes to have wine. Bread and wine are present when Melchizedek blesses Abram (Abraham) and thanks God. Simple items prepared and presented simply to give a blessing and thanksgiving.
In what ways has God blessed me? How might I be a blessing to others?
Each time we attend the Celebration of the Eucharist we remember Christ’s Passion, Death and Resurrection. We bring our own sufferings, blessings and thanksgivings to the celebration. The men, women and children who had gathered to hear Jesus’ message also brought their sufferings, blessings, and thanksgivings. Many of them were most likely very hungry and may not have had anything to eat that day. Imagine sitting in a group and listening to Jesus’ words then one of his followers brings a basket around and hands out bread and fish to everyone. Shock and joy must have filled their hearts over the plentitude of fish and bread and “They all ate and were satisfied” They heard the Word and shared an extraordinary feast from five loaves of bread and two fish.
Today we hear the Word and share in an extraordinary feast where we have the opportunity to be with others who share our faith and to have hope in the promises of Christ by feeding ourselves spiritually through the Body and Blood of Christ.
Do I take time to prepare myself for the Celebration of the Eucharist?
“They all ate and were satisfied”
Linda Schork is a theology teacher at Saint Xavier High School in Louisville, Kentucky.