Thoughts on the Readings for the Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ (C) 2016

For this Sunday’s readings click on the link below or copy and paste it into your browser. https://www.usccb.org/bible/readings/052916.cfm   


This weekend we celebrate the Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ.   This feast celebrates our belief that in the Eucharist we celebrate and share in Jesus’ name and memory, Jesus Christ is really and truly present.   We offer no proof for this belief.   This is no logical or rational way to provide evidence for this belief.  For us, as Catholics, the Eucharist is a matter of faith.   And as we read in the beginning of chapter 11 of the Letter to the Hebrews: “Faith is confident assurance concerning what we hope for, and conviction about things we do not see.” 

Our Gospel this weekend is from the Gospel of Luke.   It is Luke’s version of the multiplication of the loaves and fishes.  Because of the abundance of nourishment provided for the hungry and expectant crowd, this miracle is seen by some as a prefiguring of the Eucharist.   While there is much to comment on in this Gospel, two points in particular stand out.  First, notice that Jesus started with what the disciples had --- “five loaves and two fish.”    Second, notice that he took the loaves and fishes, “said the blessing over them, broke them and gave them to the disciples to set before the crowd.”    I have a friend who likes to say: “See what happens when you pray before you eat.”    But I think a more important lesson is the way Jesus handled what could have been a difficult situation.  He started with what the disciples had, blessed it, but then gave it back to them to distribute.   I think this is a wonderful illustration of the way God works in our lives.   Often in our prayer we want God to do things for us.   However, in our prayer if we can offer to God what we have (minimal though it may seem), allow God to bless it, God will give it back to us ---------- and marvelous things can happen as a result.    

Our first reading this weekend from the Book of Genesis tells the story of Melchizedek, the king of Salem.  He shared bread and wine with Abram (later Abraham) and together they gave thanks to God.   As with the loaves and fishes, we would see this as a prefiguring of the Eucharist. 

Our second reading this weekend is from the first Letter of St. Paul to the Corinthians.  It is Paul’s account of the institution of the Eucharist.   It ends with the words: “For as often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the death of the Lord until he comes.”  

Questions for Reflection/Discussion:

  1. It is our belief that Jesus Christ is really and truly present in the Eucharist ----- not present merely symbolically, or spiritually, or in our memory ----- but really and truly present.   How would you explain this belief to someone?  
  2. Do you pray that God will do things for you, or do you pray that God will give you the grace, courage, insight, and strength to do things?   
  3. What is your favorite memory in regard to the Eucharist?  
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