Feast of Corpus Christi
In his lifetime Jesus used the meal as the primary symbol of inclusion and acceptance. His shared meals with ‘sinners, outcasts, and tax collectors” demonstrated that God’s reign had begun and that it offered inclusion and love to all. We have come to focus on Jesus’ last supper with his friends in our celebration of his memory in the Eucharist, but the gospels tell us of the many meals he shared with many groups of people large and small. After the resurrection, Eucharist in the early Christian community emphasized the unity of life in Christ witnessed through self-sacrificing love and compassion. In the same way now, we come together to grow together into the authenticity of our response to the self-giving love of God in Christ. It is in the shared meal that we can experience that he is with us still. The effects will be visible only in the way we live our lives.
Adapted from Barbara Fiand
May we become one community in Christ.
Reflect on the fact that we are connected as the body of Christ for one another and as a whole Earth community. Think of the fact that one of the marks of the ministry of Jesus was his inclusive meals. How does this apply?
For as often as you eat this bread and drink from this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes
1 Corinthians 11:26
And the Pharisees and Scribes murmured, saying, “This man receives sinners, and eats with them.”
The Eucharist is not the reward of saints, but the bread of sinners.
The word “Eucharist” means literally “act of thanksgiving.” To celebrate the Eucharist and to live a Eucharistic life has everything to do with gratitude. Living Eucharistically is living life as a gift, a gift for which one is grateful. But gratitude is not the most obvious response to life, certainly not when we experience life as a series of losses! Still, the great mystery we celebrate in the Eucharist and live in a Eucharistic life is precisely that through mourning our losses we come to know life as a gift.
Henri J.M. Nouwen
In every Eucharist we begin by bringing creation to the table, bread and wine “fruit of the earth and the work of human hands.”
Eating and drinking with Jesus was a central experience of the disciples. The Christian community experienced the life-giving presence of Jesus the Christ in the breaking of the bread and the sharing of the cup. The presence of God in Jesus became central to the ritual life of the early Christians.
Cletus Wessels, OP
What happened once I started distributing communion was the truly disturbing, dreadful realization about Christianity: You can’t be a Christian by yourself.
From the Eucharist comes strength to live the Christian life and zeal to share that life with others.
Pope John Paul II