May 25, 2008 Corpus Christ (Year A)

Scripture: Deut. 8:2-16
I Cor. 10:16-17
John 6:51-58

This Sunday we celebrate a special day in the Church's calendar still called in the Latin 'Corpus Christi' (i.e. the body of Christ). At the Last Supper Jesus taking bread solemnly proclaimed: "This is my Body - do this in memory of me." "This is my Body"="This is myself, strengthening food for your heart."

But then Jesus said something very important and full of meaning. He said: "Do this in MEMORY of me." The word 'memory' has a very special biblical meaning. That is, by solemnly repeating the action, the past action becomes present today. (This 'memory' meaning is not just a Christian thing, but is also active in primal religions, such as the Aboriginal People of Australia. They of today, celebrate an action or event of the past and they believe that this becomes alive to present day people. Our Catholic Mass is the same religious basic practice. The Last Supper comes actually alive again to us today.).

Jesus chose bread (unleavened bread) to tell us concretely that He Himself in Holy Communion is food for the heart. That is, He gives us strength (as ordinary food does for the body) for our hearts so that we can live our daily lives with a spiritual zest.

Jesus gives us companionship. He is our supporting friend traveling with us on life's daily journey.

Indeed, happy are we who are called to his Supper.

(Note: Companion - comes from Latin cum + pan, i.e. to eat bread, or food, together. cum = with, pan = bread)