Today’s Feast of the Body and Blood of Christ celebrates the greatest gift that Jesus has given us – the gift of himself. Our faith tells us that, in the Eucharist, we receive his Body and Blood, under the appearance of bread and wine. In the Gospel reading for the feast, Luke tells the story of Jesus feeding a crowd of five thousand people. First, though, Jesus makes them welcome; he teaches them and cures the sick. Everything that Jesus does is done out of love for the people. When it grows late in the day, and the crowd are hungry, Jesus does not send them away, but instead works a miracle to provide enough food for everyone. More than enough, in fact – twelve baskets of scraps left over.
Jesus tells his disciples, ‘Give them something to eat yourselves.’ He wants his disciples to continue his loving care for the people, feeding them and providing what they need. In the Second Reading, St Paul describes how the first Christians passed on what they had received from Jesus, and how they continued to gather at the table to receive his body and blood. Today, when we celebrate Mass together, we celebrate in communion with Christians all over the world. Whoever comes to the table, the love of Christ is generous enough to make sure that there is plenty for everyone.