Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ
June 19, 2022
Sister Margaret Meaney, OSB shares a reflection on the scripture readings: Genesis 14:18-20/1, Corinthians 11:23-26, Luke 9:11b-17
When I read scripture, I am always curious when I see numbers. Why is a number important enough to mention with specificity?
“Have them sit down in groups of about fifty.”
In Leviticus 25 a Jubilee year is to be declared every 50 years. The number 50 symbolized deliverance from a burden; all debts forgiven, inheritances returned, and slaves granted their freedom.
Again in Leviticus– “Eat only what is taken from the fields.” In a past reflection, I mentioned faith being symbolized by a field. In essence, ‘Have them sit here in faith, and they shall be delivered from their burden and set free.’
In a conversation I once had, a woman described how, when in the hospital being treated for cancer, she was approached (by someone now deceased) and asked if she wished to receive communion.
She said “yes.” A few years later she became a Catholic and directly attributes this to having received communion on that occasion.
Freedom and healing.
When we have communion we are intimately blended with Christ and, even though unfelt, with each other. We are healed, we are opened to God.
We live, we do not merely survive.
Paraphrasing St. John Chrysostom— ‘you do not merely see Christ’s body; you know his power as well and the divine plan for our salvation. Let us awaken in ourselves a feeling of awe and not approach this sacrament casually, without thinking of what we do. Failing to share in this meal is hunger and death.’
I see this ‘failing to share’ as not permitting another person to receive the Body and Blood of Christ.
Is this the heart of God? Is the denier self-indicting?
In the Rule of Benedict it says to “prefer nothing to the love of Christ”. Not our opinions, not our preservation of the status quo, not the idealized past we cling to because sometimes…
We know not what we do.