June 14, 2020
Corpus Christi A
Fr. Ed Smith
Deuteronomy 8:2-3, 14b-16a; 1 Corinthians 10:16-17; John 6:51-58
I have been thinking about some of the possible good things that are being given to us as a result of the COVID 19 pandemic. I am sure I am not alone in this. It seems to me that one important lesson is that we have learned what it means to HUNGER for the Eucharist, and that the Eucharist is not just a ‘thing’, but a gift from Jesus of Himself that inspires us to give thanks [the very word “Eucharist” means ‘Thanksgiving’], to open our souls to his love, to recognize Jesus in one another, to let ourselves be nourished by His Body and Blood, to build up the community of our parish, and to live lives of faith which help others to know and serve Him. No wonder so many feel hungry. God understands this. And He responds. As He has done throughout history. Remember: God gave manna to the Israelites so that they would not starve; God, through St. Paul, gives the Corinthians nourishment through the Good News so that they will grow in faith; God gave us His Son Jesus, who gives Himself, the Bread of everlasting Life, so that we will be united with Him and live with Him in heaven. So, we see that God’s gifts to us respond to everything we really need, from basic human hunger to the desperate human longing not to be destroyed by death. Therefore we are promised something ‘everlasting’! But we have to be careful with this word. It does not simply mean ‘a really long time.’ Rather, the promise is that we will be in the everlasting presence of God: Father, Son and Spirit [recall last week’s feast of the Blessed Trinity]. We are invited to be part of the life of God. In other words, we are given the gift of everlasting Love. The Eucharist, which we celebrate in a special way on this feast of the Body and Blood of the Lord, unites us to God here and now, enables us to be strengthened as a community of faith, and nourishes us so that we can live out in daily life what it means to be a Catholic Christian. Not only that, but in a very real way, we are already sharing Christ’s life. We touch eternity in His Body and Blood. We rejoice in such Love that embraces us now. And we know that we are offered the gift of living in that Love forever! This is a good thing to learn even
from a pandemic.