1.Dt 8:2-3,14b-16a
2.1Cor 10:16-17
Gospel: John 6:51-58

                                   " We become what we eat"

The origin of the feast of Eucharist has its origin in the following story: It happened that Augustinian nun Juliana of Liega had a vision in which a glistening full moon appeared to her. The moon was perfect but had some hollow dark spots which she was told represented the absence of a feast of the Eucharist. This led to the celebration of Corpus Christ which was introduced into the church calendar in 1264.

Dear brothers and sisters we can put this question in front of us that why do we need a feast of the Eucharist? The answer to this question is that 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. The feast of Eucharist is an opportunity for us to seek a better understanding of the sacrament of the body and Blood of Christ and to order our attitude to it accordingly, since the Eucharist is the sacrament of life which, if misused, could bring about the opposite effect. As Paul wrote to the Corinthians, " All who eat and drink in an unworthy manner, without discerning  the Lord's body eat and drink judgment against themselves. For this reason many of you are weak and ill, and some have died." ( 1 Corinthians 11:29-30).

In order to arrive at a better understanding of the Eucharist we need to ask why Jesus gave us this sacrament in the first place. The whole of Eucharist discourse taken from John's gospel( John6) provides useful  answer to this question as follows: 1. Jesus promised to be with us until the end of time. In the Eucharist he provides a visible sign and an effective means of him being present to us and us being present to him. As Jesus himself said, " Those who eat my flesh and drink my blood abide in me, and I in them." 2. Jesus said that he came  that we may have life and have it to the full (John20:20). In the Eucharist he provides visible sign and an effective means of him being present to us being present to him. As Jesus himself said, "Very truly, I tell you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you. Those who eat  my flesh and drink my blood have eternal life, and I will raise them up the last day." ( John 6:53-54).

The Jews that Jesus was addressing in John6 had gathered to ask him for more bread. Jesus promised to give them the sacrament bread and blood instead. But in their worldly frame of mind they could not understand or appreciate the sacrament. They disputed among themselves saying, " How can this man give us his flesh to eat?"( v.52). Jesus reaffirmed that, " My flesh is true food and blood is true drink" ( v.52). Jesus reaffirmed that " My flesh is true food and my blood is true drink" ( v.55). They ended up distancing themselves from the Eucharist because the sacramental language makes no sense in a world of materialism.

n our own time we are being challenged with the same situation. If we approach the  Eucharist with a materialistic mentality we fail to understand and so lose the benefits of such a wonderful gift of God's love. The Eucharist is true food and drink but at the same time it is very different from other food and drink. The great difference  lies in these words of Christ which St. Augustine heard in prayer, " you will not change me into yourself; but you will be changed into me." We transform ordinary food into our own bodies but the food of the Eucharist transforms us into the body of Christ. Ludwig Feurbach's statement that we become what we eat is never more true in the Eucharistic experience.

Let me end this sharing with the following story.  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 threw the bread overboard complained: "Lousy Communist bread." The Russian countered: " Is not lousy communist bread. Is rotten capitalist tooth. If we do not experience 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