Resources - Body and Blood of Christ
A: John 6:51-58 - The Body and Blood of Christ
is not surprising that the evangelist John is selected as the Gospel to be read
on this most important feast, because of all the evangelists, John writes emphatically
that Jesus is the Son of God. There is no Messianic secret here as we find in
the Synoptic gospels, John writes from the perspective of high Christology, so
that there is never any doubt as to who Jesus really is.
begin by hearing another of the "I AM" statements made by Jesus as he
invokes the ancient name for God. Jesus makes the point that 'we must eat his
body and drink his blood' four times during this relatively short passage so there
is a most emphatic demand of the followers of Jesus, the Christ, to participate
fully in the Eucharistic meal. Jesus compels his followers in this way to ensure
that they receive eternal life.
eat and drink throughout the day to ensure we remain healthy and we know that
without food and drink we will die. Jesus is not overly concerned about having
us live our time on earth forever, the compulsion and energy behind the encouragement
to participate fully in the Eucharistic meal is because this eating and drinking
brings us eternal life.
participating fully in the Eucharist we become what we receive. When we are saying
'Amen' to the statement 'the Body of Christ' or 'the Blood of Christ' our Amen
is our 'yes' to the reality that we are becoming Christ's body in the world. We
can only be the Body of Christ if we are nourished at the Table of the Word and
at the Table of the Eucharist because this participation is an experience of transformation.
are meant to be different after our experience of Sunday Eucharist. We arrive
as people who have failed at some things and succeeded at others during the week
and we acknowledge our sinfulness during the Penitential Rite and through other
acclamations "Lord, I am not worthy to receive you
" but at the
same time we are nourished at the Table of the Word, and we bring our petitions,
our gifts and our lives and place them on the Table of the Eucharist. We are healed
and transformed into the Body of Christ to be broken and shared during the week
in all our encounters.
might be worth considering how we are going with our transformation. Do we speak
to those around us in a welcoming manner? Do we abuse those who park their cars
where we wish they wouldn't? Do we criticise the priest or the ministers as we
drive home? Do we destroy someone's character with some 'home truths'? Do we affirm
someone who is just starting as a Reader or Extraordinary Minister? Do we thank
our priest for the thoughts presented in the homily? Do we say hello to someone
we may not know? There are endless opportunities for transformation all we need
to do is to be open to God's action in our lives.
Year C: Luke 9:11-17
- Body and Blood of Christ
writing usually highlights hospitality, meals and the discipleship of both women
and men. The ministry of Jesus is summarised by Jesus welcoming people and speaking
about the Kingdom of God then healing and curing those who came to him. In the
midst of what can be the most normal of occurrences - sharing a meal, Jesus teaches
and performs a miracle. This is very reassuring for those of us who live rather
ordinary lives because in the ordinariness of any day, God is teaching us and
miracles can happen. We hear that 5,000 men had gathered, there would have also
been women and children. The specific number is less important than the sense
that 'everyone' had gathered. Jesus capitalises on the concern of the disciples
for the welfare of the people by challenging them "you give them something
A rather daunting
statement. Obviously what Jesus was asking of the disciples, women and men, was
beyond human ability. They must have felt overwhelmed. How could they provide
the hospitality needed for so many people? A miracle was needed to feed so many.
So Jesus responded by taking the food, blessed it, broke it, and gave it to the
disciples to distribute. Our Eucharistic hearts and minds resonate with those
actions. We are the people who "do this in memory of me," the people
who remember what has been and yet wait anxiously for the reality of God's coming.
We pray daily "your Kingdom come, your will be done." The abundance
of God's love is shown when the remaining food is gathered into twelve baskets.
God's love is overflowing, there is no limit to God's generosity. Just as the
disciples of Jesus' time, women and men, were given the blessed food to distribute
to the crowd, we too are called to minister to the 'crowds' around us. When we
are facing daunting situations, it is God's action that brings about the change
in circumstances. We can only do God's work if we are nourished regularly by the
Eucharist as we "remember to keep holy the Sabbath day."
Ministry Resources Body and Blood of Christ
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