Food for life

eucharist_2“Unless you eat of the flesh of the Son of Man and drink of his blood, you do not have life within you, we hear proclaimed in the Gospel for this feast of the Body and Blood of Christ.” (Jn 6: 51-58) Many of the Jewish listeners were scandalized — was this cannibalism? They walked away. The believers in John’s community were not scandalized because they understood that it was the risen Lord — with a risen body and blood — present at Eucharist. But later during post Reformation and Enlightenment times, belief in the presence of Christ in Eucharist was distanced even more from real bodily presence; in many Christian churches, Eucharist is explained by saying that it is the belief of those who are gathered together to pray which makes Christ present in a spiritual way. Catholics can’t think of spiritual presence apart from material presence! For us, in Eucharist there is a material presence of the Lord who touches us physically; his presence abides in the matter of bread and wine just as it abided in the historical, material, and very touchable body of Jesus of Nazareth. It is not our belief but His action that makes present the Lord, who is touching us so that we can stay in touch, literally, with Him. Many people keep mementos of their loved dead — something that person touched, wore … and we treasure relics. As long as we have material bodies, we need material touch! Thanks, Lord, for understanding that!

– Blog entry by Sister Mary Garascia

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.