It was ALWAYS MORE than Just Feeding the Crowds……

Posted: August 8, 2018 in World On The Edge

Of course, we are supposed to help take care of our fellow-man. If he is hungry, we must give him food. But a few weeks back, I read a blog post that seemed to say God’s intention of giving us the Eucharist was an example of how we should feed the hungry. This is not correct. The Holy Eucharist is between the individual receiver and God. The celebration of The Holy Eucharist at Mass is Jesus’s real sacrifice of His own body and blood, food for our spiritual salvation. It is a miracle, uniquely personal to each of us, and nourishes God’s own divine life in we who receive it. It is not a reenactment of feeding the hungry five thousand.  In fact, the Eucharist is not a reenactment at all. It is a covenant between each one of us and Jesus Christ who is truly present in the host, still loving us enough to offer His life for us.

As a man must be born before he can begin to lead his physical life, so he must be born to lead a Divine Life. That birth occurs in the Sacrament of Baptism. To survive, he must be nourished by Divine Life; that is done in the Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist. – Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen

John 6: 24-35

When the crowd saw that neither Jesus nor his disciples were there,
they themselves got into boats
and came to Capernaum looking for Jesus.
And when they found him across the sea they said to him,
“Rabbi, when did you get here?”
Jesus answered them and said,
“Amen, amen, I say to you,
you are looking for me not because you saw signs
but because you ate the loaves and were filled.
Do not work for food that perishes
but for the food that endures for eternal life,
which the Son of Man will give you.
For on him the Father, God, has set his seal.”
So they said to him,
“What can we do to accomplish the works of God?”
Jesus answered and said to them,
“This is the work of God, that you believe in the one he sent.”
So they said to him, “What sign can you do, that we may see and believe in you? What can you do? Our ancestors ate manna in the desert, as it is written: He gave them bread from heaven to eat.”
So Jesus said to them,
“Amen, amen, I say to you, it was not Moses who gave the bread from heaven; my Father gives you the true bread from heaven. For the bread of God is that which comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.
“So they said to him, “Sir, give us this bread always.”
Jesus said to them,
“I am the bread of life;
whoever comes to me will never hunger,
and whoever believes in me will never thirst.

United with the angels and saints of the heavenly Church, let us adore the most Holy Sacrament of the Eucharist. Prostrate, we adore this great mystery that contains God’s new and definitive covenant with humankind in Christ. — Pope John Paul II

Prayer Before Reception of The Eucharist:

Latin: Domine, non sum dignus, ut intres sub tectum meum:
sed tantum dic verbo, et sanabitur anima mea.

English: Lord, I am not worthy that you should enter under my roof,
but only say the word and my soul shall be healed.

PANGE LINGUA by St. Thomas Aquinas:

Comments
  1. David L. Gray (יוסף דוד)‎ says:

    Sharing! We need better catechesis on how to live out the Mass if the People of God are comparing what agency do that feed the hungry with what the Church is doing at the Holy Mass. If we are comparing the memorial sacrifice that takes place outside of space and time and brings us into communion with God and all of His People, with what happens at a meal distribution, we are in trouble. If we are comparing what a Priest does when he is sharing the Body of Christ, with what a food server does, we are in trouble.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. arthurpowers says:

    Kaye – I appreciate what you are saying, and certainly the Eucharist is the eternal sacrifice. But we should avoid the false dichotomy our society so often makes between the individual and the communal. Yes, our participation in the Eucharist is between the individual and God, but it is also the individual as a member of the Body of Christ, not as a separate(d) being. Indeed, we are only truly ourselves (individuals) in relationship with Christ and His Body.

    Note, for instance, the following passages from the Catechism:

    781 “At all times and in every race, anyone who fears God and does what is right has been acceptable to him. He has, however, willed to make men holy and save them, not as individuals without any bond or link between them, but rather to make them into a people who might acknowledge him and serve him in holiness. He therefore chose the Israelite race to be his own people and established a covenant with it. He gradually instructed this people. . . . All these things, however, happened as a preparation for and figure of that new and perfect covenant which was to be ratified in Christ . . . the New Covenant in his blood; he called together a race made up of Jews and Gentiles which would be one, not according to the flesh, but in the Spirit.”

    1322 The holy Eucharist completes Christian initiation. Those who have been raised to the dignity of the royal priesthood by Baptism and configured more deeply to Christ by Confirmation participate with the whole community in the Lord’s own sacrifice by means of the Eucharist.

    It is also not improper to see the feeding of the 5000 as a sign pointing to the Eucharist:

    1335 The miracles of the multiplication of the loaves, when the Lord says the blessing, breaks and distributes the loaves through his disciples to feed the multitude, prefigure the superabundance of this unique bread of his Eucharist.158 The sign of water turned into wine at Cana already announces the Hour of Jesus’ glorification. It makes manifest the fulfillment of the wedding feast in the Father’s kingdom, where the faithful will drink the new wine that has become the Blood of Christ.

    As with all God does, the Eucharist is rich and multifaceted. It is both individual and communal, a sacrifice and a sharing, and much more. I’m in awe of the gifts that our Church bears down through the ages, that allow us to be present at that one eternal moment. Blessings, Arthur

    Liked by 1 person

  3. kph52013 says:

    Hi Arthur!
    Thank you so much for your response. There is no disagreement with what you (or the Catechism) say, except that before an individual can be a part of community in the Body of Christ, each person must receive and accept the Eucharist as Jesus’s ultimate sacrifice—death on the Cross for our individual sins. Community is made up of specific individuals and Jesus comes to me and you as specific persons, and only afterwards can we play a role in community. The Eucharist is a promise. It is a covenant between God and one person at a time. It cannot be personal to ‘the group.’ When God chose the Israelites as His people, He worked with specific people. These specific people were instruments for others. Indeed, God sent His son—one man—to Earth for us. And that one man changed the world.

    Like

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