We live as hungry people in a hungry
world. Everyone is looking for something that will sustain and nourish life,
something that will feed and energize, something that will fill and satisfy.
Everyone is looking for bread. The problem is not so much that we are hungry,
but the kind of bread we eat.
Think about the varieties of bread being eaten in our lives and in the
world today. In Syria all sides are eating the bread of violence and war.
Here in our country, Republicans and Democrats share the bread of negativity,
hostility, and name-calling. Closer to home, many of us eat the bread of having
to be right and get our way. We eat the bread of hurt feelings and resentment.
Sometimes we eat the bread of loneliness, fear, and isolation. There are times
we eat the bread of sorrow or guilt. Other times we eat the bread of power and
control. Sometimes we eat the bread of revenge or one-upmanship. We eat all
kinds of bread. But the bread we eat reveals something about the nature of our
But there is an appetite that we may not be explicitly conscious of, but is
nonetheless the most basic and powerful of all. Only God can complete us, only
he can make us happy. That is how we are made. It is a consoling truth that
hunger for God, once it seizes us, does not disappear easily; for that we can
be grateful to God. Indeed, he will continue to intensify this hunger, if only
we respond to it.
In the Gospels people come to Jesus hungry. They want to feed themselves
with bread. Jesus wants to feed them with God. “Do not work for the food that
perishes,” he tells them, “but for the food that endures for eternal life.” The
Good News we celebrate is precisely this: the food that endures is Jesus
himself. “I am the living bread that came down from heaven; whoever eats this
bread will live forever; and the bread that I will give is my flesh for the
life of the world.” He is the bread that is broken and distributed for the life
of the world. He is the bread that is broken, and yet never divided. He is the
bread that is eaten, and yet never exhausted. He is the bread that consecrates
those who believe in him, and eat him.
Excerpts from Father Dominic's homily for Corpus Christi.
He is The Bread sown in the Virgin, leavened in the flesh, molded in His passion, baked in the furnace of the sepulchre, placed in the churches, and set upon the altars, which daily supplies Heavenly Food to the faithful.Saint Peter Chrysologus
In the Most Blessed Sacrament Christ Jesus graciously hands himself over to us in self-forgetful love, longing to be dissolved within his own creatures as our food, our life, our sweetness and abiding consolation. Too often we run after food, that we mistakenly believe can fill the deep hunger and void within us. Jesus sees clearly our need, our longing and his desire to fill us answers our deepest desire. Let us go to Him eagerly, hungrily; knowing that He indeed is Heart of all our desiring, He alone is able to satisfy us.
We hold this treasure in earthen vessels, that the surpassing power may be of God and not from us. We are afflicted in every way, but not constrained; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying about in the Body the dying of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our body. For we who live are constantly being given up to death for the sake of Jesus,so that the life of Jesus may be manifested in our mortal flesh.2 Cor 4 The vessels that Paul is referring to in this passage were apparently very fragile clay containers used for lowly purposes, and they were prone to cracking and easy breakage. Amazingly Paul says that is what we are. Truth be told, our own experience often verifies that, indeed as Paul would insist, we are fragile- too prone to sin and self-absorption. The good news is that this knowledge of our weakness combined with a desire for God's grace-filled healing makes us perfect candidates for God's overwhelming, loving presence and action in our lives. With Saint Paul then we can rejoice in our weakness because it grants us availability to the grace that God in Christ always longs to lavish upon us. We long to be more and more transparent to the powerful presence of Christ Jesus within the earthen vessels that we are.
Your hand holds up the world and the universe rests in your love. Your life-giving body is the heart of your Church; your sacred blood protects the Bride. Supplication to God by Cyrillonas, Syrian, 4th century. Corpus from a Crucifix Italian, Doccia, ca. 1745-50 Hard paste porcelain, h. 25 3/8" (67 cm) Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. Used with permission.
You are my friends if you do what I command you. I no longer call you slaves, because a slave does not know what his master is doing. I have called you friends, because I have told you everything I have heard from my Father. It was not you who chose me, but I who chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit that will remain, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name he may give you. This I command you: love one another.” John 15:12-17
What might it be like to know myself liked by God, truly appreciated, loved with great tenderness, understanding, compassion? Could God be at least as good as my best friend, a friend who knows my goodness as well as my sometime cantankerousness and angularity and still just loves being with me? What might it be like to imagine a God like that? Photograph by Brother Jonah.
It is God's radical love that gives our world its importance. It is the same love that gives all of us our essential dignity. God's love is all the more significant because it is fully aware of the sin, brokenness and stupidity that are part of who we are. At the center of the mystery of God is his everlasting love and fidelity to us. Given our often shabby response, this radical love may be difficult for us to understand.
In his ceaseless love for us, God sent us his beloved Son. In his faithful love the Son faced the ultimate infidelity and was put to death by those he dearly loved. But God raised his Son and sent us his Spirit so that we might share the very life of God.
As we honor the Blessed Trinity, we celebrate the awesome stubbornness of God's extravagant love for us. We can depend on this love always and everywhere. It is a love that sets no limit to forgiveness and mercy. Loved so boundlessly, so extravagantly, we must go and try to do likewise.
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