6 Jun 2021
“While they were eating, Jesus took a loaf of bread, and after He blessed it, He broke it, and gave it to the disciples, and said, “Take, eat; this is my body.” Then He took a cup, and after giving thanks, He gave it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you; for this is my Blood. of the [New] covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins. – Matthew 26:26-28
“For Whoever eats My flesh and drinks My blood remains in Me and I in him.” - John 6:56
“Because the loaf of bread is one,we, though many, are one body, for we all partake of the one loaf.”
- 1 Corinthians 10:17
My dear brothers and sisters in Christ:
In the Gospel of John 6:51, Jesus declares: “I am the living bread which has come down from heaven.” In the 6th chapter of the Gospel according to Saint John, Jesus gives a discourse of the significance of this Sacrament and brings together the two Covenants of God. Jesus first associates Himself with the manna of the OT, that God sent down from Heaven every day, to provide sustenance to the children of Israel who after coming out of Egypt, sought food, and later wandered in the wilderness for another 40 years, before coming to Canaan, the land of “milk and honey.”
Jesus was to declare His Divinity to all, when He spoke these words as found in John 6:57: “Just as the living Father has sent Me and I have life because of the Father, so also the one who feeds on Me will have life because of Me.”
“I am the Living Bread.” Bread…the staff of life, which has existed since mankind stepped into the Neolithic era (about 12,000 years ago) and began agriculturally to grow, cultivate grain, and make bread for their daily sustenance and survival.
Did you know that it is estimated that humans, get on an average, 48% of their total calories or “food energy” from grains? Whether it be wheat, barley, rice, corn, or oat, all these grains which are planted, cultivated, milled, polished, and made into flour and then bread, are all referred to as the “staples” of life?
Today, on this Sunday in the Octave of Corpus Christi, we celebrate the gift of our Lord Jesus, who at His Last Supper, consecrated bread, which would be His Body and consecrated wine which would His Blood, By this, He was to give for all times and to all, a “Co-Union” or a “Communion,” with Him and a direct connection to Him. Just as Jesus shared this meal with His Apostles, he shares His real presence today to all those who would gather at His table., Every time, as Holy Mass is celebrated, we recall His words spoken: “As often as you do this, you do this in remembrance of Me.”We are also reminded of what He would endure following this meal: His arrest, His Passion and death by crucifixion, offering up His Body on a shameful cross and the shedding of His blood for the forgiveness of sin. In this ultimate offering, we find from Him forgiveness, redemption, salvation, and eternal life.
St. Paul reminds us in 1 Corinthians 10:17 “Because the loaf of bread is one,we, though many, are one body, for we all partake of the one loaf.” Paul teaches, thatwe, who form His Church, and comprises His Body, are taught, though we be many, are one, and that we all need to turn to the One source, to God, every day in prayer; for it was in the words of His Beloved Son, the “Anointed One” who taught us, to acknowledge, in prayer, “Our Father,” as the source of our “daily bread”, not for just our physical needs, but also for our spiritual needs which strengthens us and gives us direction. In John 6:27, we read: “And Jesus answered them and said: “Do not work for food that perishes but for the food that endures for eternal life,which the Son of Man will give you. For on Him the Father, God, has set his seal.” In His words, we find our faith, and our spiritual and moral compasses and we are, brought closer to God through Him and fellowship with one another.
Today’s message should be for each of us; that in His Presence, whether it be physically receiving the Holy Eucharist, or praying for a spiritual communion with Him, He promised that He would be with us until the end of time.
My dear brothers and sisters: May we all know that on this Sunday in the Octave of Corpus Christi that our Lord promised us that as we remain in Him, He will be with us and in us. May the life-giving bread of His righteousness be received in all humility, and in our lives, may we seek to be feed on that spiritual food, the manna of Christ, which sustains us through all our trials and tribulations. Amen.
Rev. Fr. Robert M. Koerber