Twice today we hear how God fed the Israelites with “a food unknown to you and your fathers.” We see something similar in the Gospel when the Jews were dumbfounded at Jesus’s strange offer to eat his flesh.
How wholly unfamiliar are God’s ways, taking common bread and ordinary bodies and making of them something completely new and unexpected—true bread from heaven!
Our response to this can be one of sheer unworthiness. Divine food so holy surely cannot come near to ones so ungodly. Yet Pope Francis reminds us, “The Eucharist … is not a prize for the perfect but a powerful medicine and nourishment for the weak” (Joy of the Gospel, 47). To focus solely on our unworthiness makes the Eucharist about us rather than God’s gratuitous gift.At every Eucharist, God feeds us with the unknown that we may let go of our familiar and comfortable “we’ve always done it this way” and embrace the surprising action of the Spirit. Click To Tweet
Therefore, let us instead dwell upon the new thing God does. At every Eucharist, God feeds us with the unknown that we may let go of our familiar and comfortable “we’ve always done it this way” and embrace the surprising action of the Spirit. With the body and blood of Christ, God saves us with the stranger, giving us Christ, the complete and total Other, that we may recognize Christ in those we too readily dismiss.
In Christ, ordinary flesh is consecrated by divine life. Holy gifts for holy people. True food and drink for the life for the world.
This post was first published in “GIA Quarterly: A Liturgical Music Journal.”
Image credit: Photo by Jon Tyson on Unsplash.