Fr. Rick’s 3-minute homily for the Solemnity of the Body and Blood of Christ
June 11, 2023, John 6:51-58
Remembering Jesus for Real
Think about it. Jesus took a piece of bread and a cup of wine at the Last Supper and said, “This is My Body given up for you. This is My Blood poured out for you.” You and I gather every weekend, every day, and the Lord is still giving up His Body for us and pouring out His Blood so we can live His life.
God has always wanted His people to remember how much He loves us. He told Moses, “Do not forget the LORD, your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, that place of slavery; who brought forth water for you from the flinty rock and fed you in the desert with manna.”
Consider too, how Jesus spent his ministry satisfying many pangs of hunger with various kinds of bread. He knows a person’s appetite and how to satisfy their hunger. There are so many people we meet every day who need the Living Bread come down from heaven. This living bread still comes down from heaven every time we celebrate the Holy Mass.
And the fantastic thing is we become what we eat, the Bread of Life for many people. Through Moses, God fed the people in the desert. Who are the people we know he is waiting to satisfy their physical hunger through us? A percentage of our parish contributed to the Catholic Ministry Appeal. Some of us contribute to the people we feed in Pinellas Hope every Friday. You are that Living Bread come down from heaven for these people Jesus is feeding through you.
To the leper whose body was falling apart, Jesus knew the only bread that mattered to him was the bread of physical healing. Every time we go to Holy Communion, we receive this Living Bread who visits the sick, sends get-well cards, cooks the meal, and cleanse the house for anyone who cannot manage independently because of illness. You are the Living Bread for them.
To the lonely woman at Jacob’s well who had five husbands and was living with a man who was not her husband, Jesus offered her the bread of human kindness and satisfied her hunger for acceptance. He knew she went to the well at noon alone because her town disowned her.
We are that living bread come down from heaven that the diocese helps through our contributions to house the homeless, to welcome the migrants who need a fresh start. We are their living bread from heaven.
If the elements on the altar are just bread and wine, there is no threat for us to change from living for ourselves only. We can leave Mass and go about our human life, come back next week, and fulfill our obligation and never become another Christ for others.
However, we do believe in the Real Presence of Jesus. All the Divine and Human properties that make him fully human and divine are present after the consecration. He says through the priest, THIS IS MY BODY…THIS IS MY BLOOD. At the end of Mass., Jesus sends us as tabernacles for the world to feed on.
For a world hungry for God, we become what we eat, the Body of Christ. Welcome to living externally for God!
So, to dig a little deeper into this mystery, who is your Living Bread?
Fr. Rick Pilger, IC