The Body & Blood of Christ (transferred) Deuteronomy 8:2-3&14-16; 1 Corinthians 10:16-17; John 6: 51-58
“Remember how the Lord your God led you for forty years in the wilderness, to test you and know your inmost heart….He fed you with manna to make you understand that man does not live on bread alone, but that man lives on everything that comes from the mouth of the Lord.”
The Book of Deuteronomy interpreted the life of faith as a continuing journey. We, like Israel’s ancient tribes, are on a journey that delivers us from sin, leading us to the Promised Land of communion with the living God. The author described this journey as a time of testing, the revelation of our ‘inmost heart.’
The necessary restrictions of the present health crisis have thrown into sharp relief the many needs, both physical and spiritual, that drive our lives. We hunger to be with those we love, to find ourselves in them, to share with them in laughter and joy, healing and forgiveness.
We cannot ignore this fundamental hunger, but we can, with Deuteronomy, allow it to lead us to an acknowledgement that we live, not by bread alone, but on everything that comes from the mouth of the Lord.
Saint Paul, writing to the deeply divided community of Corinth, confronted their divisions with a truth proclaimed at their weekly celebration of the Eucharist.
“The blessing-cup that we bless is a communion with the blood of Christ, and the bread that we break is a communion with the body of Christ. The fact that there is only one loaf means that, though there are many of us, we form one single body because we all share this one loaf.”
The Eucharist, the sacrament of Christ’s real and enduring presence, has always been the foundation of the Church’s unity; never more so than in times of stress and potential division. Covid-19 headlines throughout the world have revealed both the strengths and divisions of our flawed humanity.
The celebration of the Eucharist brings us into communion with the Lord’s own sacrifice. His is the blood poured out that we might live; His the broken body that brings healing. Whatever lies ahead, it will be in his life, shared with the Father, that we shall find a life that endures.
“I am the living bread which has come down from heaven. Anyone who eats this bread will live forever. As I, who am sent by the living Father, myself draw life from the Father, so whoever eats me will draw life from me.”