A Word from Fr. Chris
I am the living bread that came down from heaven whoever eats this bread will live forever. (Jn. 6:51)
Food is and has remained an essential commodity to man. Its lack brings discomfort and an uncomfortable situation to anybody. A baby just born cries for food within ten minutes of its delivery. A grocery store sells more food items than other products. Even at our food pantry here at St. Augustine, one can see the joy and satisfaction on the faces of those who received food items.
In recent weeks in our Sunday readings food has been featured as an element which has been used to salvage unpleasant situations. God had used food called “manna” to settle the grumbling and murmuring of the Israelites against Moses and Aaron as they ran out of food in the desert on their journey to the Promised Land. They even wished they could have remained in Egypt in servitude and enjoyed their fleshpots, bread, cucumber and garlic than to die of hunger and thirst in the desert. God, therefore, rained down food for them. They seeing it asked, “What is this?” Moses told them, “It is bread the Lord has given them.”
Again, in the food story, the prophet Elijah was very hungry in the desert and wished he could die. An angel offered him food two times which strengthened him before he was able to reach Mount Horeb.
Going from there, after Jesus had raised the daughter of Jairius, the synagogue official, from dying, he asked that the girl be given food. He performed a miracle of the multiplication of bread and fish to feed about 5,000 people and there were left-overs. They were overjoyed and intended to make him king. He used the luring attraction for food to teach them about another kind of food He would give them that came down from heaven, which one may eat and will not die. This food, He said, would be His own body for the life of the world.
This is how He finally instituted the Eucharist before the apostles and which now we receive at Mass as Holy Communion, the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity under the appearance of bread and wine.
What effects do we derive from receiving Holy Communion? According to the Catechism of the Catholic Church, they are the following:
- It unites us to Christ.
- It increases the life of grace in our soul.
- It diminishes the inclination to sin.
- It is a pledge to eternal glory. Amen