Photo illustration by Phil Younk
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Like loaves, fishes, Jesus’ mercy feeds multitudes

Based on Gen 14:18-20; 1 Cor 1:23-26; Lk 9:11b-17

Bread and wine, sharing and self-giving service are highlighted in the readings for this feast of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ, honoring the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist. It’s often called by the Latin name Corpus Christi, which means Body of Christ.

Thousands of people spend the day listening to Jesus. He teaches them about God, cures their sicknesses and heals their disabilities.

At day’s end, the apostles tell Jesus to dismiss the people so they can find food and lodging for the night. Jesus tells the apostles, “Give them some food yourselves.”

They reply they have only five barley loaves and two fish for the more than 5,000 people.

Jesus tells the apostles to have the people sit in groups of 50. He took the five loaves and two fish, blessed, broke and gave them to the apostles to distribute.

“They all ate and were satisfied;” Scripture tells us the apostles retrieved 12 baskets of leftovers. Jesus fed these thousands of people both spiritually and physically.

What a beautiful image of Jesus’ abundant love and mercy.

As we gather for Mass/Eucharist (which means “thanksgiving”), we recall the Last Supper and share in Jesus’ saving death and Resurrection.

During Mass, at the offertory, we bring bread and wine to the altar. Just as Jesus prayed at the Last Supper, the priest prays the words of consecration and the bread and wine become the Body and Blood of Jesus.

Jesus, who taught about God’s love, forgave sins, cured the sick, died on the cross and rose from the dead is the same Jesus we receive in holy Communion. Jesus, the “Bread of Eternal Life,” gives himself to us completely and helps us to be good and loving children of God.

Corpus Christi should help us focus on Christ’s overwhelming love – he gave his body on the cross at Calvary; he gives us his Body in holy Communion and in the communion we have with each other in the church as his body on earth.

Jesus, your love and mercy are beyond our imagination. Help us to give our hearts to you.