The Eucharist Commits Us to the Poor

I was asked by the organizers of the website, Catholic Women Preach, to videotape a homily for the Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ.

Because the gospel passage is Luke’s account of the feeding of the five thousand, I chose for my theme an assertion found in the Catechism of the Catholic Church that challenges us to grasp the close connection between Eucharist and social regeneration: “The Eucharist commits us to the poor” (CCC 1397).

Here is an excerpt from my reflection that focuses on the gospel:

It’s a wonderful story. All these hungry people, and the disciples don’t think they’ve got the wherewithal to help. But, guess what? They have.

“Give them something to eat yourselves,” Jesus gently tells them, and then proceeds to show them how. What happens next is something marvelous: five loaves and a couple of fish turn into food for five thousand, with twelve baskets left over. Did the people in that crowd begin to share with each other, once the disciples shared what they had?

This story is not just about a picnic out in the fields however, or a miracle however marvelous. It’s a sign, a prophetic sign of what it looks like when the Reign of God breaks into the world. And, for the apostolic Christians and for many throughout Christian history, the meaning of this sign is inextricable from the meaning of Eucharist.

The full text and video are available on line.

3 comments

  1. Thank you, Rita. CCC 1391-1398 are among the most overlooked and yet the most helpful of the Catechism’s paragraphs. I use them all the time in formation work with parishes, training ministers of Communion, etc.

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