The Sacrament That Makes Us One

11 Jun

“Food, glorious food!  What wouldn’t we give for
That extra bit more — That’s all that we live for
Why should we be fated to
Do nothing but brood
Oh food, Magical food, Wonderful food,
Marvelous food, Fabulous food,
Beautiful food, Glorious food!”
~ Food, Glorious Food from the Musical, Oliver!

Food is certainly something that occupies the minds and hearts of many individuals.  (Perhaps, for some of us, it occupies too much of the mind!)  We all have our favorites meals and our favorite restaurants.  We all have places that we go to eat on a regular basis and places that we would never visit again based upon one bad experience.

Food is something that is a part of the very fabric of our lives.  We celebrate with food, we commiserate with food, and we bury our anxieties and sadness with food.  We enjoy sharing our food with others and generally are busy thinking about our next meal.

We know that we need food to survive.  Without it, we will starve to death.  If we go without food long enough, our bodies will begin to consume themselves, using up all stored fat and then attacking the proteins in the systems that we need to live.  Starving to death can be a very ugly and painful way to die.

Just as we need food to live our lives here on the earth, we also need spiritual food to nourish our souls.  Jesus told us that His flesh was real food and His blood was real drink.  Unless we eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, Jesus told us, we would have no life within us.

Today, we celebrate the Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ.  We in the older generation will remember the Solemnity being called Corpus Christi.  On this day, we remember that Jesus gives us His very Body and Blood to eat and drink.  That is the food that sustains our souls just as the food that we eat daily sustains our bodies.  Just as without food, our bodies perish, without the spiritual food of the Eucharist, our souls are in danger of suffering that same fate.

On this solemnity, I am always sad for those who do not recognize the gift of the Eucharist as well as for those who have separated themselves from the Eucharist. That sacrament is what binds us and makes us one as it sustains and nourishes us.  It, truly, is the Source and Summit of our Christian lives.

FAITH ACTION:  Pray that all people may come to know the sustaining, nourishing gift of the Eucharist and that they may receive the Lord worthily and with great reverence.