Readings: Genesis 14:18-20, Psalm 110:1,2,3,4, 1Corinthians 11:23-26, Luke 9:11-17
The humility of Christ manifested in the eucharist
“There is nothing meeker or more silent than Christ present in the host. This little piece of bread embodies the humility and perfect silence of God, his tenderness and his love for us. If we want to grow and to be filled with the love of God, it is necessary to plant our life firmly on three great realities: the cross, the host, and the virgin.
These are the three mysteries that God gave to the world in order structure, fructify, and sanctify our interior life and to lead us to Jesus. These three mysteries are to be contemplated in silence”. Cardinal Robert Sara, The power of Silence.
Dear brother and sisters, these touching words of cardinal Sarah are a reflection of what we sometimes look at with contempt. Each time we find ourselves in a eucharistic celebration, we find ourselves in front of a great mystery engulfed in the form of bread and wine that becomes the body and blood of Christ through consecration, what is termed transubstantiation theologically. This is the miracle in which the bread and wine become the body and blood of Christ while remaining in the same forms of bread and wine. It is only eyes of faith that can believe this. The Eucharist, the solemnity of the body and blood of Christ that we celebrate today gives us a chance put ourselves in front of this great miracle. Christ assumes in humility and meekness the form of bread and wine in order to nourish our life and becomes food for our journey.
We often seek miracles in our lives. But the miracles that we seek are majorly centered on us, on our needs, on things we want God to change our lives. In fact, when we think of miracles very few of us will mention this miracle of God descending on bread and wine and transforming it into the body and blood of our savior Jesus Christ. It is a miracle that represents fully Gods love for humanity, that in the bread, which is representative of the work of human hands and the vine, the fruit of the vine also work of the human hands, we present our actions and our fatigues to the Lord. So, it is actually the offering of humanity that the Lord transforms through the Holy Spirit. As we celebrate the eucharist we come with our often-poor wretched lives, our unworthiness, our weakness, our hungers, our fears and our anxieties, our joys and our thanksgiving, and our praise. These are all offered with the bread and wine, the and offering of the people and the offering of the priest as we heard in the first reading, the high priest Melchizedek making the offering in the altar of the Lord, blessing the name of the most high and receiving the tenth of everything.
The Eucharist, bread broken and distributed
The gospel passage from Mathew 9:11-17 presents to us Jesus who is concerned for the needs of his followers. As the disciples ask him to send the crowd away because of lack of bread, he turns the plea to them and asks them to give them bread themselves. What ever we have received from God is for the good of all. Whatever blessing we have received must become a blessing for all. He challenges us to let go, not to be stingy with what we have, to be mindful of the needs of others. The disciples surrender the five loaves and two fish to Jesus, he transforms it into a blessing for everyone, each one’s hunger was satisfied. In order to be a blessing to others, we need to surrender the little we have for the benefit of others. The Spirituality of the eucharist is one that calls us to be broken, so as to share the life we have received with others. We need to recognize that God uses your hands and mind to bless others. So let us not tie the blessings of others to ourselves. Let us be generous and we shall receive a double blessing from the Lord.
Christ, for our salvation gives himself to us in the form of bread that he took in his hands, broken for the life of the world and the cup of the blood for the salvation of the world. These two realistic symbols are an expression of the incredible love for us. The flesh given to nourish our weak flesh; the blood poured for our salvation. Each time we partake in this great action of love, we enter into full communion with God. God dwells in us and we dwell in him. We become moving tabernacles. Christ is in us. He gives himself not as a trophy for the righteous but nourishment for repentant sinners. May we yearn for union with Christ in this sacrament. May the body and blood of Christ make us like him in love and generosity.