Sunday, August 9, 2015

Looking Ahead

Father Perry D. Leiker, pastor
By Father Perry D. Leiker, pastor

One of our very beautiful psalm responses with unusually beautiful musical renderings is today’s response which reads: “Taste and see the goodness of the Lord.”

It is either an unusual mix of metaphors or an admission that the goodness of the Lord is so great that neither tasting nor seeing is enough – only both will do. It also calls forth a very Eucharistic image, since we do indeed eat (taste) and see (the host) when we receive.

In fact, the minister holds the host before our eyes saying, "Body of Christ" to which we respond, "Amen" – then we eat!
Elijah, on his long and tiring journey, was at the point of starvation and was ready to "give up his spirit" – that is, ready to die. God, however, in his goodness, gave the food he needed for his journey and Elijah clearly experienced the goodness of the Lord – "taste and see"!

Jesus, in the gospel, offers himself as food for the journey of life: "I am the living bread that came down from heaven; whoever eats this bread will live forever; and the bread that I will give is my flesh for the life of the world."

The people knew Jesus as neighbor but did not know him as Lord. His words were a scandal to them rather than an invitation to faith.

We eat the host and drink from the cup believing that we have received the Lord. He is our bread of life and cup of salvation.

When we truly receive Christ and experience his presence within, it is no wonder we are able to sing out with faith and confidence and gratitude: "Taste and see the goodness of the Lord."

Father Perry D. Leiker is pastor of St. Bernard Church. Reach him at (323) 255-6142, Ext. 112, or email pleiker@stbernard-church.com.

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