THE BODY AND BLOOD OF CHRIST
deuteronomy 8:2-3, 14b-16a; 1 corinthians 10:16-17; john 6:51-58
there are two birds that fly over deserts: the vulture and the hummingbird. the vulture eats the rotting flesh of dead animals. the hummingbird feeds on the colourful blossoms of desert plants.
the vulture lives on the past; it fills itself with what is dead. the hummingbird lives on the present; it fills itself with freshness and life. each bird finds what it is looking for. each bird becomes what it eats.
so do we! if we eat only fast/junk food, will we be healthy? no! to be healthy, we need to eat nourishing food and drink wholesome beverages.
what applies to the body applies also to the soul! if we want to be spiritually healthy, we need to be nourished with spiritual food and drink: the body and blood of jesus… the word made flesh.
the readings on the feast of the body and blood of christ highlight the importance of spiritual nourishment.
jesus’ teaching in the gospel takes place at the beginning of the feast of unleavened bread, which recalled how GOD nourished the people with manna in the desert (and with his word).
jesus emphasizes that the bread he gives is different from the manna in the desert!
- the manna that was not eaten within the day had to be thrown away; it was no longer any good. however, after jesus multiplied bread and fed the five thousand, twelve baskets of fragments were gathered and saved. this means that this bread lasts.
- the manna was limited and only for the jews. the bread which jesus gives is for always and for all people.
- the manna nourished the people only during the journey to the promised land. the bread of life nourishes us with eternal life.
- those who ate the manna in the desert died. those who eat the living bread will live forever.
jesus—the word made flesh and the living bread—nourishes us for always by giving us his word, and his body and blood… in the eucharist.
am i like the vulture eating rubbish or am i like the hummingbird that eats fresh food? am i satisfied with the junk food the world offers or do i feast on jesus the word and the living bread?