Genesis 14: 18-20 1 Corinthians 11: 23-26 Luke 9: 11b-17
Of the various thoughts or images of the Eucharist that this annual celebration of Corpus Christ, the Feast honoring the Body and Blood of Christ, call to mind, the most significant to me is “simplicity.” We come together weekly to celebrate the Eucharist. We do not gather for entertainment or to view some grand production. Rather we gather for worship, the acknowledgment in payer and praise, of our loving God. It is worship as we understand Jesus Christ handed over to us, as we heard St. Paul tell us. It is worship of God to hear Gd speak to us and then to consume and make part of ourselves the Real Presence of our Lord.
To focus our thoughts today we listened to the word of God presented for our consideration. We heard first about Melchizedek, a somewhat mysterious person. His sacrifice, unlike that of other Old Testament priests, was not of an animal. His priesthood is seen as being prophetic. His actions speak of something deeper. He uses bread and wine, the food of a simple meal. Thus the Eucharist is pre-figured. It is a mystery to be celebrated by a new High Priest, Jesus Christ.
In the Gospel we are presented with the story of the multiplication of the loaves. It is a genuine feeding of hungry persons that arises out of compassion and concern. It is also a clear reference to the Eucharist. It is an event that is difficult to understand, like the belief that the bread and wine is the Body and Blood of Christ. But it is a very real event that is made evident by the act of collecting leftovers.
Along with these recollections, Paul reminds us that at the Eucharist, the sharing of the loaf and the cup, the Body and Blood of Christ, was very much a part of the life of the early Church. The Apostles had received the very clear message that they were to share this meal. It was nut just a memorial, but the way in which the Lord was made genuinely present with them.
As much as we are one with that tradition of the Church over the centuries in this simple act of worship, we are also one with all who share this Eucharist now, here and throughout the world. How awe-inspiring ought this to be to realize this!
What we possess in this time that we come together in this act of worship is the opportunity to be one with God through Jesus Christ as well as one with one another. This very act calls on us to consider this time to be the most inspiring, uplifting moments of the week.
When we share this mystery of the ages, we share this Lord who binds us together, We are brought into contact with the God of our Faith.
In the simplicity of these few moments together, our God, through the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ that we receive, is joined with us and joins us together with one another. It is in this way that the full importance of who we are and what we do in this time and place allows us to experience the full reality of our good and gracious God.