The Body and Blood of Christ

Bread

Study:  Read John 6; Matthew 26:26-29; Mark 14:22-25; Luke 22:15-20.  Note that Jesus defines what this is and commands us what to do.

Pray:  The next time you receive Holy Communion, take an extra moment to recognize Christ in the Eucharist and welcome Him into your life.

Serve:  We need food for physical strength and we require spiritual food for spiritual strength.  What tasks are before you right now that require God’s grace and help?

We all know people who love to cook and serve food.  They are the ones who always have something on hand for company, and they delight in offering a “little something” when visitors stop by.  Often in conversation sooner or later the question will be asked, “Are you hungry?  Would you like something to eat?”

Feeding people covers a variety of human needs.  Whether it is for our  hospitality, or gathering for a celebration, or simply nourishing our bodies, food is a central part of our existence.  It is one of our most basic and regular needs.

To ask someone, “Are you hungry?” not only recognizes this fundamental need, but it reveals our desire to serve another out of love.  Hunger is a universal experience, and our willingness to feed others shows our practical concern and our solidarity with those around us.

Experience teaches us that food is not the only nourishment we require.  Besides sustenance for our bodies we are also aware that we need spiritual strength as well.  Friendship, fellowship, prayers, and the support of a community and family are essential to our health and well being.

Jesus knew that people were hungry.  The Lord fed thousands with bread and fish.  He fed multitudes with hope and comfort through his teaching.  He fed the hearts of people in need of forgiveness and peace by his healing.  And on the night he was betrayed, he left his disciples with a way that they could be nourished through his body and blood for all time.

God knows our hunger.  In our need God comes to us with an abundance of life and goodness, inviting us to come and feast that we might have life.  In the Eucharist we proclaim that out of love the Lord Jesus is among us so that the community might receive the nourishment needed for our journey through life.

At Mass we proclaim this mystery.  Through the power of Christ, bread and wine become the Lord’s body and blood for our spiritual food.  As we receive communion the words “the body of Christ” state not only what we receive but what we become.  For as we receive the Lord in holy communion, we become the Body of Christ – empowered to share the Lord’s love in our world that others who hunger might be fed.

About Fr. Andrew Ricci

A Catholic priest since 1997, Fr. Andrew Ricci is currently the rector of the Cathedral of Christ the King in Superior, WI. His website "Three Great Things" can be found at studyprayserve.com and his podcasts can be found under "Catholic Inspiration" in the iTunes store. View all posts by Fr. Andrew Ricci

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