2.1Cor 11:23-26
Gospel: Luke 9:11-17

                                    "  Sharing compassion"
An amusing story is told about a mother who gave a bottle of Coke to her older son. She told him to share it equally with his young brother. Drinking straight from the bottle, the son emptied all its content. " Didn't I tell you to share the bottle equally with your younger brother?" the mother asked. " Why did you drink it all?" " Mama," he replied," I couldn't help him because my share was at the bottom." The theme of our reflection today is all about sharing compassion,( Lk 9:11-17). However, this is not the kind of "sharing" shown by the older brother in the story.

Today we are celebrating the Solemnity of the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ. Surely this feast reminds us that Jesus gives His very own Body and Blood so that we might live in our faith and live in our deeds. If we find out that we do not live our faith and alive in our deeds, then this is because, the body and blood of Jesus are not part of our food. Thus let us not deprive ourselves of this most incredible ingredient of our earthly life.


Let us have historical background of this solemnity from Fr. Tommy Lane homily:

"In the year 1263 a priest from Prague was on route to Rome making a pilgrimage asking God for help to strengthen  his faith since he was having doubts about his vocation. Along the way he stopped in a Bolsena 70 miles north of Rome. While celebrating Mass there, as he raised the host during the consecration, the bread turned into flesh and began to bleed. The drops of blood fell onto the small white cloth on the altar, called the corporal. The following year,1264, Pope Urban IV instituted the feast of the Body and blood of Jesus, today's feast Corpus Christi. The Pope asked St. Thomas Aquinas, living at that time, to write hymns for the feast and he wrote two, better known as the Tantum Ergo and O salutaris. The blood-stained corporal may still be seen in the Basilica of Orvieto north of Rome."

Today's Feast of the Holy Eucharist is the greatest banquet of all, the greatest sacrifice of all, the very " source and summit" of our whole Christian life. This is the feast of us all because Jesus is present in the Eucharist and He is the Eucharist Himself, awaiting us all. He is here for the child who just received his/her First Communion; for the  Catholic converts and for the lifelong believers like us, Catholics. He is here for those who cannot receive him sacramentally: the little children; for the non-Catholics who mysteriously drawn to the Eucharist banquet like those who are not Catholics however, they attend mass everyday though they do not receive the Holy Communion, enter the adoration Chapel and prays in front of the Blessed Sacrament. Jesus of the Holy Eucharist is here for the sick people who cannot join us in this Eucharistic celebration because of their predicaments. That is why the Church reserves Consecrated Hosts in the Tabernacle so that the Eucharist can be brought to the sick and the faithful can worship the Blessed Sacrament outside of Mass.

Furthermore, we can reflect two messages in our today's gospel reading. The first  is that of sharing and giving. In connection to our today's readings let us remember the word of Oscar Wilde when he said: " Those who have much are often greedy; those who have little always share." Just imagine, Jesus preaches too long  and heals the whole day. The evening comes and the people are tired and hungry. The easiest way to solve this is to dismiss them as the disciples suggest. However, Jesus orders His disciples to give them something to eat and a miracle happens. There are two ways on how to interpret this miracle. One is we can see it simply a miracle in which Jesus created food for this vast multitude of people. And the other one, William Barclay, a known Bible commentator, quoted that some people think that this is what happened.

The people were hungry and they were utterly selfish. They all had something with them but they would not even produce it for themselves in case they had to share it with others. The twelve apostles laid before them their little provisions and thereupon others were moved to produce theirs and at the end there was more than enough for everyone. Therefore this may be regarded as miracle which turned selfish, suspicious folk into generous people, a miracle of Christ's changing determined self-interest into a willingness to share.

In life we have what we call givers and what we call takers. Givers are those who literally sacrifice life and give some parts of what they get. What are the examples of givers? givers are soldiers who risk their lives defending other, givers are missionaries who have left home, country an family, enduring deprivation, loneliness and even persecution for the sake of the gospel. Moreover, givers are the many people who do an honest day's work so that the family can eat. Givers are everywhere, often unknown and unnoticed. They just give and give; no pretense; just plain and simple giving.

We may ask ourselves this simple question that why do we need this feast of the Body and Blood of Christ in the Eucharist? A feast like this affords us the opportunity to give God collective thanks for Christ's abiding presence with us which is made visible in the Eucharist. Moreover, it is also an opportunity for us to seek a better understanding of the sacrament of the Body and Blood of Christ. We cannot live without food. Jesus says the same about the Eucharist in the gospel of St. John: " If you do not eat the flesh of the Son of man, you will not have life in yourselves,"( John 6:53).

Believing in the real presence of our Lord Jesus Christ in the consecrated bread and wine, however some Christians are really challenged if Jesus is really present. We can a bit pose this challenge to ourselves that why then do many of us who receive the Eucharist not experience more of radical transformation? May be the following story  will cast more light on the question.

A team of Russians and Americans were on a common expedition. Among their cabin foodstuff was Russian black bread. It was tasty but hard on the teeth. It happened during a meal that an American bit into a piece and snapped a tooth. He throw the bread overboard and growled: "Lousy Communist bread." The Russian countered: " Is not lousy communist bread, is rotten capitalist tooth." In fact if we do not have experience of the transforming power of the Eucharist it is probably not on account of a lousy Eucharist but on account of our rotten faith. Let us today approach the Eucharist with a more lively faith in the real presence of Jesus in the Eucharist and we shall experience therein God's saving power and transforming love.

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Chapisha Maoni