Deuteronomy 8:2-3, 14b-16a 1 Corinthians 10:16-17 John 6:51-58
I once heard a story about a mother who was cooking dinner for her children. The family was of modest means, but the mother was careful to purchase and prepare food that was nutritious and included all the major food groups. One one occasion, when the young ones were complaining about what was being prepared for dinner, mom got a bit flustered and blurted out: “Look here now, I work hard to feed you good wholesome food to help you stay healthy and grow stronger. You can’t just eat cupcakes and ice cream all the time. Trust me to care for you properly.”
There are several themes interwoven in today’s readings. They all involve food and they all involve our relationship with God. In the first reading (from Deuteronomy) Moses reminds the Israelites about how the Lord sustained them with food and water when they were wandering in the desert and desperate for nourishment. The Lord was their salvation!
In the First Letter to the Corinthians, Paul speaks of the tremendous spiritual nourishment we glean from participating in and receiving the Eucharist…the perfect spiritual banquet gifted to us by none other than Christ himself.
And the Gospel reading (John 6:51-58) takes that very theme and fleshes it out for us (pun intended) by giving us even more detail about the connection between the Eucharist and the gift of eternal life with the Lord. Whenever I encounter this passage, I am reminded of one of my favorite hymns: “I Am the Bread of Life”, written by Suzanne Toolan, RSM, and Ronald F. Krisman. Singing this song, as we did at our parish on this Feast of Corpus Christi, added a fitting musical emphasis to the power of the Eucharist.
Yet again, as in the desert days of old, God has created a way to nourish us, and this Eucharistic nourishment is the highest form of prayer and of union with our God. I am reminded of the famous phrase: “You are what you eat!” And there is no more sacred or nourishing meal than the Eucharist…the source and summit of our faith.
by: Bill Miller