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The Meal to End All Meals

The Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ

First Reading: Genesis 14:18-20

In those days, Melchizedek, king of Salem, brought out bread and wine,
and being a priest of God Most High,
he blessed Abram with these words:
“Blessed be Abram by God Most High,
the creator of heaven and earth;
and blessed be God Most High,
who delivered your foes into your hand.”
Then Abram gave him a tenth of everything.

Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 110:1, 2, 3, 4

R. (4b) You are a priest for ever, in the line of Melchizedek.
The LORD said to my Lord: “Sit at my right hand
till I make your enemies your footstool.”
R. You are a priest for ever, in the line of Melchizedek.
The scepter of your power the LORD will stretch forth from Zion:
“Rule in the midst of your enemies.”
R. You are a priest for ever, in the line of Melchizedek.
“Yours is princely power in the day of your birth, in holy splendor;
before the daystar, like the dew, I have begotten you.”
R. You are a priest for ever, in the line of Melchizedek.
The LORD has sworn, and he will not repent:
“You are a priest forever, according to the order of Melchizedek.”
R. You are a priest for ever, in the line of Melchizedek.

Second Reading: 1 Corinthians 11:23-26

Brothers and sisters:
I received from the Lord what I also handed on to you,
that the Lord Jesus, on the night he was handed over,
took bread, and, after he had given thanks,
broke it and said, “This is my body that is for you.
Do this in remembrance of me.”
In the same way also the cup, after supper, saying,
“This cup is the new covenant in my blood.
Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.”
For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup,
you proclaim the death of the Lord until he comes.

Gospel: Luke 9:11B-17

Jesus spoke to the crowds about the kingdom of God,
and he healed those who needed to be cured.
As the day was drawing to a close,
the Twelve approached him and said,
“Dismiss the crowd
so that they can go to the surrounding villages and farms
and find lodging and provisions;
for we are in a deserted place here.”
He said to them, “Give them some food yourselves.”
They replied, “Five loaves and two fish are all we have,
unless we ourselves go and buy food for all these people.”
Now the men there numbered about five thousand.
Then he said to his disciples,
“Have them sit down in groups of about fifty.”
They did so and made them all sit down.
Then taking the five loaves and the two fish,
and looking up to heaven,
he said the blessing over them, broke them,
and gave them to the disciples to set before the crowd.
They all ate and were satisfied.
And when the leftover fragments were picked up,
they filled twelve wicker baskets.

NAB

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What is your favorite meal of all time? Like if you had to eat only one meal for the rest of your life, what would that be? For me it would be the Humus Ghalaba special at my all-time favorite Middle Eastern restaurant with plenty of that delicious free, warm bread on the side. So delicious.

In today’s readings, I am yet again reminded no matter the deep foodie desires of my heart, God has a meal plan that will always leave us full and satisfied. In the Gospel, Jesus performed an incredible miracle providing enough food to create abundant leftovers. Just as the people gathered “all ate and were satisfied” God himself satisfies our every hunger with His own body and blood. I mean stop and think what that really means: God fulfills every hunger in our hearts and lives.

Jesus became real food for us; to sustain and fill every part of our soul. Jesus gave us the Eucharist as a way to stay connected and be with us until He comes again; the meal to end all other meals.  He knew He was going away, but wanted to leave us with an intimate way of being closely connected. Anticipating the hunger of each our hearts, He provided a way to keep us filled and satisfied.

So He left us this sacred meal, a special way to come close to Him. We take and eat. We remember. And every time we are blessed to receive His body and blood, we hopefully become a little more like Jesus. Something as simple as bread and wine are the elements Jesus chooses to use leave us full and satisfied. The Holy Eucharist is a sign of the passionate, reckless love our God has for each one of us. And in a special way today, let us express our gratitude to God for this beautiful gift.

O Sacrament most Holy,

O Sacrament Divine,

All praise and all thanksgiving,

Be every moment Thine.

As you approach this Sunday to receive Jesus in the most Holy Sacrament of the Altar, prayerfully say these words in your heart: “Jesus fill every hunger in my life. Show me where I hunger for things other than You.”

photo credit

Patty Hubbard is a runner, youth minister ordinaire, and recovering know-it-all. When not fundraising for World Youth Day, she is learning to find grace in all things. You can find out more about her here.

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