The Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ, Sunday, 23rd June

Luke 9:11b–17

When the crowds found out about it, they followed him; and
he welcomed them, and spoke to them about the kingdom of God, and healed those
who needed to be cured. The day was drawing to a close, and the twelve came to
him and said, “Send the crowd away, so that they may go into the surrounding
villages and countryside, to lodge and get provisions; for we are here in a
deserted place.”  But he said to them,
“You give them something to eat.” They said, “We have no more than five loaves
and two fish—unless we are to go and buy food for all these people.” For there
were about five thousand men. And he said to his disciples, “Make them sit down
in groups of about fifty each.” They did so and made them all sit down. And
taking the five loaves and the two fish, he looked up to heaven, and blessed
and broke them, and gave them to the disciples to set before the crowd. And all
ate and were filled. What was left over was gathered up, twelve baskets of
broken pieces.


It should not surprise us that Jesus, who miraculously fed
over five thousand people out of sheer generosity to prevent them feeling any
pangs of hunger on their return journey home, could and would find a miraculous
way to feed his faithful followers on their way to heaven.

Many, if not most, of that five thousand had little or no
interest in his teaching but were ready to take all the earthly benefits he
would give them. Yet he wanted to prevent them from suffering any undue

We, his followers, have learned and appreciated his teaching
and the supernatural future life which he has earned for us and promised us. We
are trying to live Christian lives according to the rules he gave us. We are
struggling along towards heaven, each in his own way, fervent at times,
careless or cold often perhaps, but still most anxious not to miss the glorious
future he has prepared for us.

With this proof of his kindness and generosity in helping
this more or less indifferent multitude in the matter of earthly food, it is
much easier for us to see him provide generously for the spiritual nourishment
of his followers on their journey to their true and lasting home.

That he did so we have the certainty of the centuries-long
tradition of generations of Christians, based on his own words recorded in the
inspired writings. Christ has arranged to remain with us under the form of food
for our spiritual sustenance in the sacred sacrifice of the Mass, in which we
can partake of his sacred body and blood, soul and divinity. This is, we can
receive the Incarnate Son of God in the Sacrament of Holy Communion.

How he could do that is only a small mystery for our finite
minds. He was God as well as man. But why he should do this for us unworthy
creatures is the greater mystery by far. Infinite love, which we finite beings
cannot even begin to understand, is the answer and the explanation. Instead,
then, of wasting any time on trying to solve this mystery, which we know to be
a fact, let us try to thank him for it and use this gift of his love as often
as possible. This will be the greatest proof that we appreciate this divine
gift. We now that we are worthy to receive our divine Lord “under our roof.”
Perhaps, we are even more unworthy than the pagan Centurion who was first to
use these words. But we also know that Jesus can and will make us worthy if we
ask him in all sincerity: “to say but the word” and we shall be healed.

“It is not the healthy who need the doctor but the sick,”
Christ said when accused of being too friendly with sinners (Mt. 9:12). We
Christians are more often spiritually sick and dead than healthy. However, we
have our doctor and he cares for us. It is only by following his advice and by
using the spiritual medical nourishment he prescribes for us, that we can
overcome our illnesses and weaknesses and keep on the straight and narrow road
to heaven. Amen.