Abundance of life
There are 11 references to the word life and its variants in today’s Gospel from
Living bread, live forever, life of the world, life in you, eternal life, lives in me and I live in them to name a few. Each reference is enough to stop, be still and give thanks. Christ blessed the bread, broke it, and gave it to those with him at the Last Supper. He did the same with the cup. He promised that he would always be with them.
We need food and drink to sustain our lives. So many families at present are struggling to put food on the table. A number of charities provide food assistance and are experiencing increased demand in these difficult times. What a relief it must be but also difficult and challenging having to deal with this kind of insecurity around food. The people who work tirelessly to prepare and provide the food parcels are to be commended.
I was moved to hear a story recently of a young person preparing a food parcel and being aware of the family who would receive the food even though he would not meet them. He was struck by the quality of food being placed in the box as a sign of respect towards them and acknowledging their dignity.
This makes me reflect on the quality of the food and drink Jesus gives us in the Eucharist. He knows our vulnerabilities and our hungers. He is the one who provides for and nourishes our life’s journey with the gift of his body and blood. As he says, ‘My flesh is real food and my blood is real drink’. What does that say about the way Christ sees us? Humbling isn’t it? He invites us all to see one another in that light and to share the quality of our lives. That can even be the lessons learned from our own brokenness. After all Jesus broke the bread and gave it to them.
For many of you, perhaps, this will be the first time you have been able to attend the Eucharist since lockdown. May we be open to receive the depth of Christ’s welcome and living presence who comes to us and nourishes us in so many ways.
I invite you to reflect on the song ‘We are Christ’ from Serenity.