Based on the Gospel of Luke 9:11b – 17
Out and about. Jesus didn’t stay in his hometown of Nazareth and wait for people to hear his message and follow him. He traveled to the towns and villages announcing the Good News. His teaching, forgiving of sins and healing brought many people to believe in him. At the same time, Jesus trained his apostles to carry on his work.
In this Sunday’s Gospel, thousands of people have come from miles around to spend the day listening to Jesus. He teaches them about God, cures them of their sicknesses and heals them of their disabilities.
As the day ends, the apostles tell Jesus to dismiss the people so they can go to the surrounding villages and farms to find food and lodging for the night. Jesus tells the apostles, “Give them some food yourselves.” They reply that they have only five loaves and two fish for the more than 5,000 people.
Jesus tells his disciples to have the people sit down in groups of 50. Then Jesus took the five loaves and two fish, blessed them, broke them and gave them to the disciples to share with all the people. “They all ate and were satisfied.” Afterwards, the disciples retrieved 12 baskets of leftovers.
Took, blessed, broke and gave. Jesus did it here and at the Last Supper with his apostles. Jesus took bread, blessed it, broke it and gave it to his apostles saying, “Take this, all of you, and eat it: this is my body which will be given up for you.” Then he took the wine, blessed it, and gave it to his apostles saying, “Take this cup, all of you, and drink from it; this is the cup of my blood, the blood of the new and everlasting covenant. It will be shed for you and for all so that sins may be forgiven. Do this in memory of me.”
This Sunday, we celebrate the Feast of the Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Jesus, honoring the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist. It’s often called by the Latin name Corpus Christi (Body of Christ).
As we gather for Mass, or celebration of the Eucharist (which means “thanksgiving”), we recall the Last Supper and share in Jesus’ saving death and Resurrection. Through the priest we offer the bread and wine and we offer our lives to God. As the priest says the words of consecration, and through the action of the Holy Spirit, the bread and wine become the Body and Blood of Jesus, and Jesus shares himself with each of us in holy Communion. Then we are to go out and share Jesus’ love with others.