The Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ
June 18, 2017
As a friar, I’ve had the privilege to go on pilgrimage. Traveling to a holy place with other pilgrims is an experience of getting to know God, self, and others.
An important part of pilgrimage, believe it or not, is the food. You may smile, wondering what pilgrimage meals have to do with spirituality. Well, I enjoyed some of my best spiritual experiences around the table with my fellow pilgrims. The meals on pilgrimage in Assisi, Italy, were, of course, wonderful! But my memory of those meals always includes the wonderful people with whom I shared the food. It nourished both body and spirit.
Today we celebrate the Feast of the Body and Blood of Christ, and our first reading takes us into the desert, as God’s people are completing their pilgrimage to the Promised Land. Moses recalls for them how they depended for forty years on the food God provided. They survived as free people, liberated from slavery, thanks to the manna in the desert, and the other food from God.
In the Gospel, Jesus tells the crowds that he himself will be true food and drink for them—a food that will surpass the manna in the desert. Jesus, the living bread, will give them eternal life. It is the ultimate pilgrimage meal, and we share it each Sunday at Eucharist.