Today’s Gospel: Luke 9, 11b-17 – Solemnity of the Body and Blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ
Today is the Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ. Today’s Gospel recounts a miracle story that is familiar to us, that of Jesus feeding the five thousand. This story appears in some form in all four Gospels, and goes back to the earliest tradition of the church. It recounts a story illustrating how Jesus cared for people’s physical needs and satisfied their hunger, using the limited resources present. The story also looks forward to the crucifixion and Jesus as Eucharist in the description of what Jesus did with the loaves: he blessed, he broke, and he gave.
When I read this story, what stands out to me is how frequently I behave like the disciples. As a mother of three children under five years old, I often feel spent, like I have no more to give. I feel as though I really can’t read one more story, or clean up one more cup of spilled milk, or change one more diaper. I feel as limited as the disciples must have felt when Jesus told them to feed more than 5000 people with five loaves of bread and two fish. In that moment, my first instinct is not to turn to Jesus for help, but to despair and resent the demand. The thing is, those moments of reaching the end of my personal resources are precious, because it is then that I most acutely realize that I need God.
What a wonderful gift we have as Catholics in being able to receive the Body and Blood of Jesus in the Eucharist! We do not just remember what Jesus did for us symbolically; we also physically receive Jesus’ Body and Blood, and so are nourished and empowered for a week of giving more than we thought we could.
Where are you confronted with your own limitations? How can you invite Jesus into that place?
Lord Jesus, thank you for meeting us where we are. We need you in the Eucharist and in our daily lives. Help us to see the needs of others through your eyes and to give more than is comfortable.
Copyright 2016 Jennifer Riordan
Jennifer Riordan is a wife and mother of three little ones. She has a Master’s degree in Theological Studies from the University of Dallas. She is a former Naval Officer and part-time energy engineer. She loves running, espresso, books, and playing trains with her kids. Her personal blog is Jennifer Lynn Riordan.