Who Would Have Imagined?

2 Jun

“You come to me and unite Yourself intimately to me under the form of nourishment.  Your Blood now runs in mine, Your Soul, Incarnate God, compenetrates mine, giving courage and support.  What miracles!  Who would have ever imagined such!”  ~ St. Maximilian Kolbe

Food is such an important part of our lives.  Much of what we do gravitates around food.  We use food for basic nourishment, food for celebrations, and food for consolation.  We celebrate with elaborate recipes and delight in simple basics.  I think it is safe to say that, for nearly all of us, food is enjoyable and plentiful.

If you were in a concentration camp, however, food was extremely sparse and became something highly sought after.  Many people died in the camps from starvation because there was not enough food to go around for them.  Oh, the guards ate well, that is for sure.  However, the prisoners were deprived.  Sometimes, as a cruel game to see what the prisoners would do, a scrap of food would be tossed in among them.  Fights ensued and there were times people died attempting to secure a morsel.

Imagine, in these dire conditions, a priest, also a prisoner, smuggling in tiny bits of bread and wine in order to use them for the most important meal of their lives: the Eucharist.  Maximilian Kolbe risked much in order to provide the Eucharist to his fellow prisoners.  He knew what Communion was all about: a sharing in the Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of Christ.

Nourished on so great a gift, a soul would be prepared for anything that this world would throw its way, even persecution and death.  It seems so tragic that the person who wanted to feed his fellow prisoners spiritually would ultimately be placed into a tiny bunker with nine other prisoners to starve to death.

Yet, the nourishment that he received and celebrated kept him alive and enabled him to minister to each of his fellow prisoners until their deaths.  Only then would he offer himself up and have carbolic acid injected into his veins in order to effect his death.

We celebrate today the Source and Summit of our lives: the Most Holy Body and Blood of Jesus Christ.  Partaking of the Eucharist, we indeed become one with each other and one with the Lord.  Let us never forget what this great gift is all about and let us render constant praise to God for the sacrificial gift of His Son.

FAITH ACTION:  Pray for those who do not believe in the Eucharist, that they may come to know the Lord in all of His merciful love.