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The Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ 2013

With Memorial Day behind us, we Americans mark the beginning of the Summer holiday.  For some, school is already out, and for many others, school will be ending shortly.  With Easter and Pentecost now in our rear-view mirror, we approach a long spell of Ordinary Time... but before we slip into the ma-laze of the season, we focus on the most significant gift Jesus left us... his real presence in the Eucharist - the Body and Blood of Christ.

The Word for the Body and Blood of Christ:
       Genesis 14:18-20
       Psalm 110:1, 2, 3, 4
       1 Corinthians 11:23-26
       Luke 9:11b-17

As one might expect, our readings all present images of bread and wine.  Our first reading from Genesis shows us a religious celebration attended by Abram, in which the priest Melchizedek offers bread and wine.  Our second reading from Paul’s First Letter to the Corinthians is one of our earliest documented modes for the celebration of the Eucharist, predating even the Gospels in which we hear these very same words... words we still hear in our regular celebration of the Mass today.

Concluding the Word with our Gospel from Luke, one would expect to hear the story of the Last Supper where Jesus institutes the Eucharist in these now familiar words.  Instead, however, the Lectionary gives us the story of the Miracle of the Loaves and the Fish.  Curious?  Not really.  In this reading we continue the theme of the bread as a central part of the story.  One could even present this story as a foreshadowing of the Eucharist which Jesus would eventually celebrate with his Apostles.  Most significantly, the story shows us how this bread feeds everyone… Jesus said, “take and eat”, inviting us all to the table.

You may also want to check out these supplemental readings:
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