August 19, 2018
For the past few Sundays we have been given some insight into the fact that God wants to provide for us; that He loves humanity with his great compassion and mercy, and that He wants to feed us constantly so we can reach eternal life.
Jesus has hinted in the past Sundays that somehow He is the food. Today we see much more clearly what He means.
The Book of Proverbs was written to give insight of how to live a good life. It was written approximately 500 years before Christ. What we hear today describes Wisdom as a rich lady who has built the perfect palace of seven pillars, seven being the symbol of perfection, and she sends out her maidens to invite all to the feast she has prepared.
Christ has prepared a feast for us, the Eucharist, and He has built the perfect palace, the Church.
Throughout the ages He has sent out Apostles, maidens, to invite all to the feast, the banquet. We can now see that what the Hebrew Scriptures, the Old Testament, spoke of is now still taking place. Amazing.
Everyday we are invited to be fed by God; certainly in the events of our lives. This food helps us to see that we are called to be the presence of Christ in the world. We are to show His mercy, love, patience, compassion, forgiveness to all, even the enemy, the one with whom we struggle. Certainly God knows we need all kinds of food and He provides us with the perfect food which we hear described by Jesus in today's Gospel.
In the Gospel Jesus tells the Jews around Him something that was a scandal, was a slander. Jesus tells them that He will be food.
He will give them His Body and Blood which they are to eat and drink. To the Jews this went against all that they had always believed.
St. Paul, in his letter gives a reminder that they have been called and chosen to make God present to others; and the same message is true for us today.
He states that they need to give thanks to God for all that He has done for them; the promise of eternal life.
I think we all know that the celebration of the Eucharist is also a way of giving thanks to God. The word Eucharist comes from the Greek meaning "thanksgiving".
It is worth giving these words of St.Paul some thought. Eucharist is the perfect spiritual food that is a help to us on our earthly journey to eternal life.
How can we not eat and drink this perfect spiritual food?
Franciscan Fr. Greg Friedman