As our creator, God provides what we need when we need it. There is clear evidence of this in our first reading today; where we are reminded that God provided for the Jewish people while they wandered through the desert for forty years. This was despite the complaints and disobedience which were evident from those same people. But still God provided for them. Moses reminds the people of how bountiful God was; by freeing them from slavery and granting them His protection. Humbling them and testing their resolve to keep His commandments.
The psalm adds to this by proclaiming that God has protected the Chosen people and fed them with finest wheat.
Our relationship with God needs to be constantly worked on; God is always there and ready to respond; are we able to say the same?
How do we stay close to God as we go about our day? If we are parents or Grandparents, how do we help the children we have responsibilities for, develop and maintain a relationship with God?
Jesus; who is true God and true man, understands that we need to be nourished with spiritual food to help us in our journey towards heaven. This is why He gave us the Eucharist at the Last Supper, the greatest gift just before He entered into His Passion. This was controversial; many of the Jewish followers of Jesus felt obliged to walk away when Jesus spoke about eating His flesh. They suspected Jesus of advocating cannibalism. Nothing could be further from the truth. The flesh we eat does not destroy the body, nor is the victim dead anymore. The flesh we eat is the Risen Christ, His Body and Blood is the food which leads to eternal life.
With apologies to those who have already read the words of St John Paul, which were published in this week’s Diocesan e-news I’ll share the following quote
The Church has received the Eucharist from Christ her Lord not as one gift – however precious – among so many others, but as the gift par excellence, for it is the gift of himself, of his person in his sacred humanity, as well as the gift of his saving work. Nor does it remain confined to the past, since “all that Christ is – all that he did and suffered for all men – participates in the divine eternity, and so transcends all times”Pope St John Paul II, Ecclesia de Eucharistia, 11
Recently at St Bede’s there were three Masses celebrating the First Holy Communion of the young people in the Parish, and this Sunday, the Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ Jesus, the young people of St Michael’s and St Oswald’s Parish will celebrate their First Holy Communion. For me it is several decades since I made my First Holy Communion and although I have some memories of that day still, those memories are probably mixed in with other special days.
What is more recent of course was the time three years ago when we were all denied the opportunity of attending Mass for several months and the joy of returning to Mass and receiving Our Lord again was magnificent. The vacuum in our lives was filled again; with perhaps a renewed appreciation; because we could be in Communion with the Body of Christ again, not just spiritually but sacramentally.
This is a mutual exchange, while we receive the ‘gift par excellence’ which St John Paul mentioned, we are giving ourselves to Jesus. The words quietly spoken during the preparation of gifts “Through the mystery of this water and wine, may be come to share in the Divinity of Christ, who humbled himself to share in our humanity.” These words tell us how important Christ’s gift is; both to Christ and to us. While we share in his Body and Blood, we become like Him, sharing His Godliness. This is why we as Catholics must always profess the truth of the Eucharist; this is not just symbolism. Jesus Christ is truly present at every Mass, and He comes to us as bread and wine, transformed through the actions of His priest into His Body and His Blood.
The Catechism of the Catholic Church
The Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ
CCC 790, 1003, 1322-1419: the Holy Eucharist
CCC 805, 950, 2181-2182, 2637, 2845: the Eucharist and the communion of believers
CCC 1212, 1275, 1436, 2837: the Eucharist as spiritual food
Please keep in your prayers this week
- The success of the pastoral area formation programme ‘The Wild Goose’ which we are using as part of the Year of the Holy Spirit.
- The success of the Diocesan Life in the Spirit programme which started last week.
- Those who are sick, those recovering from surgery, those who are dying, the recently deceased and those who mourn.
- All those struggling to feed their families at this time.
- Those working to help others who are struggling with the cost-of-living crisis.
- Our young people who celebrated the Sacrament of Confirmation in Portsmouth Cathedral today
- Those discerning a vocation.
- Those preparing to be ordained to the priesthood or diaconate.