The Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ
1st Reading: Genesis 14:18-20
2nd Reading: 1 Corinthians 11:23-26
Gospel: Luke 9:11B-17
Jesus went to those most in need. He forgave the sinner, ate with the outcast, defended, and fed those who were poor and hungry. He worked for true justice, risked being unpopular, willingly accepted suffering and death, and always stayed connected with his Abba, Father. Jesus also consistently reminded folks that God’s compassion, love, and mercy trump everything, even the law. This is the Christ that the Eucharist calls us to be. As we look around our churches, our towns and cities, and our world, there are many people who need to see the face and body of Christ. Some of those most in need may be right within our families. But it is always in the poorest of the poor and those most vulnerable that we find the greatest need. There are many who cannot function on their own. When the gift of the Eucharistic Christ takes root in our hearts, we can more readily see the face of Christ in others.
Many people are vulnerable. Highest on that list are the homeless. They show us the face of Christ. Whatever the cause, to have no place to go and no place to call home takes a toll on the human spirit. For Jesus when there were hungry people, they were fed. God asks us to do the same … feed people. There are many who are hungry physically, emotionally, and spiritually. Gifted by the Eucharistic presence of Christ, we can bring them Christ. Who are the hungry around us and how can we feed them?
When someone is hurting, you comfort them. When someone is hungry, you feed them. When someone needs clothes, you provide them. When someone is cold, you warm them. When someone is in prison, you visit them. With over a million people who are homeless and over a quarter of them children, it is important to ask the question, “why?” and strategize for ways to lessen or alleviate the problem. Nevertheless, we are not off the hook for responding to the immediate needs that present themselves at our doors. Whether a person’s current station in life is self-imposed or the result of being victimized, they are sacred vessels. We cannot lock the door and send them away and still believe we bear the Eucharistic presence of Christ. It doesn’t work like that.