Bread of Life

The readings this Sunday remind us that our presence at Eucharist calls us to transformation. Because of the Eucharist we cannot be the same person this Sunday as last.

Our first reading from Exodus assures us that God is a God of abundance and that God is not indifferent to the needs of the world. Hunger, thirst, oppression, injustice all matter to God. Our Creator God creates enough for everyone.

It is in our pursuit for “food that perishes,” (Jn. 6:27) the desire for power over and control of others, the need for the respect of others, the craving for material goods, etc., that leads us to destroy the reputation and lives of other people. These desires give us permission to destroy our earth, and that sanctions “not enough for all.”  Moreover, our quest for fulfilling “deceitful desires” (Eph. 4:23) inevitably creates violence to our own soul and spirit while obstructing the peace and freedom of “enough.”

Pope Francis states “Communion with the Lord is necessarily a communion with our fellow brothers and sisters. And therefore the one who is fed and nourished by the very body and blood of Christ cannot remain unaffected when he sees his brothers (and sisters) suffering want and hunger.” As we partake in the Eucharist today we are compelled to bring this “food that gives life” (Jn. 6:27) to each encounter God offers us this week, to each news story God puts before us, and to each opportunity God gives us to use our voice to lovingly address the hunger, thirst, oppression and injustice in society.

Saint Paul reminds us that we are to “be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and put on the new self, created in God’s way in righteousness and holiness of truth.” (Eph. 4:24) If you are not transformed by Eucharist today, then our Eucharist is incomplete. As Pedro Arrupe, whose cause for beatification was recently announced, stated:

“If there is hunger anywhere in the world, then our celebration of the Eucharist is somehow incomplete everywhere in the world …. In the Eucharist we receive Christ hungering in the world. He comes to us, not alone, but with the poor, the oppressed, the starving of the earth. Through Him they are looking to us for help, for justice, for love expressed in action. Therefore we cannot properly receive the Bread of Life unless at the same time we give the bread of life to those in need wherever and whoever they may be.” (Pedro Arrupe SJ, Servant of God)

Sr. Maryann Mueller, CSSF
FAN Board Member

Suggested Action:
As you go through the week reflect on how what you do or say is different because of Eucharist
As you go through the week, reflect on how you pursue the “food that perishes.”

Suggested petitions:
For all those suffering the injustices of hunger, alienation, and oppression, may they see the face of Christ in us. We pray…
For our Mother Earth, who groans under our feet. May we recognize her sacrifices for us and care for her tenderly. We pray…

Collect Prayer

Draw near to your servants, O Lord,
and answer their prayers with unceasing kindness,
that, for those who glory in you as their Creator and guide,
you may restore what you have created
and keep safe what you have restored.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever

Amen

 

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