Sunday, May 29, 2016

Looking Ahead

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

Quote of the Week: “Everything can be taken from us but one thing: the last of the human freedoms — to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.” — Viktor E. Frankl.

This feast today focuses sharply on Jesus Christ as the bread of life and cup of salvation.

This feast of the Body and Blood of Christ is the central mystery of our faith as a sacramental community. The reason we gather each week as church is to share at the table of the Lord — to eat and drink of the Lord.

The readings today open up many levels of meaning, as does the Eucharist itself.

Jesus spoke to the crowds and healed those who needed to be cured. As the day was drawing to a close, the issue of so many people and so little food came up. Jesus told the disciples to “give them some food yourselves.”

Clearly, they could not. So Jesus, as generously and lovingly as he did everything, fed the multitude — the men alone numbered about 5,000.

When all was said and done, all were satisfied, and they also filled 12 extra baskets with leftovers.

What a wasteful miracle of generous love — it was more than they could eat, more than they needed!

Jesus was forever giving of himself. He was forever spending his time, his life, his energy, his mind, his heart, his words. The more he gave, the more people wanted, and the more he emptied himself for them.

Paul, in his first letter to the Corinthians, reveals that Jesus’ example and teaching was not in vain — the disciples did finally get it.

Here we are, after Pentecost, celebrating the feast of the Body and Blood of Christ. Paul’s words are our words, and they couldn’t be truer: “I received from the Lord what I also handed on to you. Do this in remembrance of me.”

The gathering of the community of the Lord each Sunday is more than obligation. It is the profound sharing of the Lord. We eat and drink of him. We become what we receive. We imitate and follow his example.

We open up the meaning of pouring out our lives. We learn generosity of love and giving. We see the fruit of our love, its over abundance; and we, too, gather up the fragments.

The feast of the Body and Blood of Christ is so much more than “just going to receive communion.” It is becoming one with the Lord, sharing in his life, and being transformed into the very feast that we share.

Father Perry D. Leiker is pastor of St. Bernard Church. Reach him at (323) 255-6142, Ext. 112; email perry.leiker@gmail.com. Follow Father Perry on Twitter: @MrDeano76.

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