Sunday, June 23
The Solemnity of the Most Holy Body & Blood of Christ
Jesus spoke to the crowds about the kingdom of God,
and he healed those who needed to be cured.
As the day was drawing to a close,
the Twelve approached him and said,
“Dismiss the crowd
so that they can go to the surrounding villages and farms
and find lodging and provisions;
for we are in a deserted place here.”
He said to them, “Give them some food yourselves.”
They replied, “Five loaves and two fish are all we have,
unless we ourselves go and buy food for all these people.”
Now the men there numbered about five thousand.
Then he said to his disciples,
“Have them sit down in groups of about fifty.”
They did so and made them all sit down.
Then taking the five loaves and the two fish,
and looking up to heaven,
he said the blessing over them, broke them,
and gave them to the disciples to set before the crowd.
They all ate and were satisfied.
And when the leftover fragments were picked up,
they filled twelve wicker baskets.
Every time we celebrate Mass we enter into the offering of Christ on the cross and proclaim his life-giving death and resurrection. The words “Do this in memory of me” echo across the centuries as priests have offered the Mass with the people in majestic cathedrals, humble parish churches, prison cells, in war zones, both in public and in secret under fear of arrest and prison.
This weekend when we hear about the multiplication of the five loaves and two fishes in the Gospel hopefully we reflect once again on the wonderful miracle pointing to the deep desire of God to feed God’s people and the abundance with which God pours gifts on the beloved. This sign points toward the Last Supper when Jesus speaks of the offering of his body on the cross and the gift of his body and blood to the disciples assembled with him.
May this weekend’s celebration of this Feast of Corpus Christi be both an invitation to adore the Lord in prayer and a summons to love in action. Before the Blessed Sacrament we meet like friends with Jesus, listen to him and tell him our needs. Jesus waits for us in prayer, which is an act of trust in him. It is also a summons to action. At the end of Mass, we are sent out as the deacon proclaims: “Go in peace, glorifying the Lord with your Life”. May we once again glorify the Lord by our love in action as we serve those in need and celebrate the gift of the body and blood of Christ for our journey on earth toward eternal life.
Deacon Frank Iannarino