The Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ
June 23, 2019
A liturgist and teacher whom I know speaks of a part of the Mass which gets the least emphasis in our Sunday celebration. It comes at the very end of Mass, as the priest blesses the assembly and dismisses it. This short ceremony is really a “commissioning.” We’re being sent out into the world, to put the whole meaning of the Sunday Eucharist into practical action in our lives.
Today’s feast–which commemorates Christ’s gift of himself in the Eucharist–has two Scripture selections which help us appreciate this “under-emphasized” part of the Mass. Listen to Saint Paul describe to the Corinthians how Jesus blessed and broke bread at the Last Supper, and then hear Luke’s Gospel tell the story of Jesus feeding the crowd. The Gospel speaks of “blessing and breaking” the loaves as well.
Could Luke have meant us to hear this story of Jesus feeding the hungry, and intended us to think about the meaning of Eucharist as well? How is Jesus the food that feeds our deepest hungers? And could that connection teach us what we’re commissioned to do at every Eucharist: to take its power into everyday life, where we’re called to feed others with both physical and spiritual food? Those are good questions to think about as we gather for Eucharist this weekend.