Readings (Year C):
Reflection: We are part of Christ’s body
“Everything I say for one of my children is for all of them…each soul is my favorite,” said Our Lord to the French mystic Gabrielle Bossis, “if only you knew my love for each one.”
Can we sense God’s love, God’s longing to draw us daily into their love? The state of the world today may cause us to wonder. Many are tempted to believe we are cut off and do not belong. It does not take much imagination to see the sorrows and struggles in our world these days. The culture of death knocks loudly and often, embracing greed, warfare, violence, destruction—ways contrary to life, to God.
In today’s gospel we meet Jesus in a crowd, speaking life-giving words about the reign of God, and healing people of their ailments. It is precisely here where the feast manifests.
The disciples thought the healing work was completed and attempted to have Jesus dismiss the five thousand. Jesus then invites the seemingly impossible. Give them something to eat yourselves.
Five loaves and two fish are all we have, they respond. And while they are busy calculating, Jesus acts. An unexpected blessing and an unexpected feast for and with love: The love of Jesus, the love of God, the love-possibility between those gathered there, and dare I say, those gathered here in cyberspace?
Many wonder if Jesus truly multiplied the loaves, or if the miracle was the sharing of goods already present with all gathered.
In the past I have been allured by the miracle of the loaves and fishes as an act out-of-the-ordinary and astonishing. These days as we face the cesspool of violence in local, national, and world news, I believe the greater miracle would be to trust God enough to share our goods, fullness, littleness, or even our weakness with our sisters and brothers. Then maybe we, too, will marvel, remembering “we belong to each other,” in the words of St. Mother Teresa.
Today is the feast of Corpus Christi, a celebration of Jesus’ presence in the Eucharist. The Church professes our reception of the Eucharist to be the fullness of Jesus’ life broken and shared with each one of us.
Dorothy Day wrote: “Christ is bread on our altars because bread is the staple of the world, the simplest thing in the world, something of which we eat and never get tired…if you sat and thought forever and ever, you could not think of any way for Christ to remain with us which would bring us closer to him.” Why? Day states in another piece “the answer is very simple. It was because [God] loved us and wished to be with us.”
This is my body that is for you, do this in remembrance of me…this cup is the new covenant in my blood. We are not cut off. We are part of Christ’s body and are loved more than we know or imagine. As One we are loved, and through Jesus we have become God’s beloved daughters and sons.