The Body and Blood of Christ Feast is especially dear to me. I have a great love of the Eucharist.The complexity of the Eucharist is revealed in today’s mass readings. In 1 Corinthians 11, the Last Supper is explained as an act of remembrance and worship. When we receive the Eucharist we remember Jesus whose body was broken and blood was poured out for us. The food of Angels given to the pilgrim who has striven is placed in our hand at each mass — do we recognize the sacredness of the act?
The Gospel of Luke 9, has Jesus feeding the crowd, despite the Twelve telling him to send them away from the deserted place. Jesus insists that they give them something to eat. He looks up to heaven, blesses the small offering of five loaves and two fish, and his disciples hand them out. All were filled after eating and still twelve baskets of broken pieces remained.
This Gospel is powerful. How often do we balk when we are overwhelmed? Do we trust or bail? You want me to do what with what, Jesus? Surely, you jest! No, he does not. He is serious. He takes our broken pieces and makes more than enough. In the process, he blesses us and asks us to remember–Him and one another. We are not to shoo people in need away. We are not to let our fears limit our love. We are to trust in ways that seem foolish, outlandish, and insane. This God we worship knows no limits on Love and generosity. Miracles abound in ways we may not recognize.
This weekend I had four women friends come up for a visit. What did they give me to eat? They gave me food, literally. We shared several meals together. They fed my spirit with good conversation and wise counsel. They took their own broken pieces and placed them with mine. I had a couple of teary conversations with some of them as we talked about the reality of my situation. We laughed, we explored, and we were real. We reminisced and made new memories. They met my family and helped heal a little more of the leftover remnants of stuff that haunts me. I watched one of them take my parents’ contact information, well aware that she will take care of them in a call or card after I am gone. I cannot tell you how deeply I love these women. They keep teaching me how to be kind, generous, and loving. They show me how to be open, gracious and beautiful. They are very much the body of Christ for me.
Sending them off was rending. I know they know that I love them but I do not know if I will see them again and I so appreciate every effort they have made over our decades together. I know that tonight as I leave for mass, Jesus will be in the House and I will be united with them when I receive the Eucharist. This is my faith–it may not be theirs, but this is what I know and trust without a shadow of doubt. They are present with me in this sacred act and I will remember them. I will eat and I will be full, with basketfuls of Love left over with all the broken pieces we share together.
What have you been given to eat?
What have you given to someone to eat?
Food of Angels, feed this pilgrim until she is fully satisfied. Keep the broken pieces safe in your basket of Love. I will remember you and You each time we come to the Table. Amen.