Homily for the feast of the Most Holy Sacrament - Year C - Lk. 9:11-17
 
 
by
 
Father Daniel Meynen
 
 
 
" Jesus spoke to the crowds of the kingdom of God, and cured those who had need of healing. Now the day began to wear away; and the twelve came and said to him, «Send the crowd away, to go into the villages and country round about, to lodge and get provisions; for we are here in a lonely place.» But he said to them, «You give them something to eat.» They said, «We have no more than five loaves and two fish -- unless we are to go and buy food for all these people.» For there were about five thousand men. And he said to his disciples, «Make them sit down in companies, about fifty each.» And they did so, and made them all sit down. And taking the five loaves and the two fish he looked up to heaven, and blessed and broke them, and gave them to the disciples to set before the crowd. And all ate and were satisfied. And they took up what was left over, twelve baskets of broken pieces. "
 
 
 
Homily:
 
 
" Jesus spoke to the crowds of the kingdom of God, and cured those who had need of healing. Now the day began to wear away; and the twelve came and said to him, «Send the crowd away, to go into the villages and country round about, to lodge and get provisions; for we are here in a lonely place.» But he said to them, «You give them something to eat.» "
 
Today is the feast of the Most Holy Sacrament! We specially honor the sacrament of Body and Blood of Christ! It is the Holy Spirit who invites us to do this, because it is he who urges the Church to praise the Lord Jesus throughout the whole world, rendering to him the glory he deserves: it is the Holy Spirit who prays in us in order to praise the Lord and to thank him infinitely! "When the Spirit of truth comes, ... he will glorify me." (John 16:13-14)
 
The Church is not alone when she praises the Lord: the Spirit of God is there to help her and to guide her day after day in her eucharistic thanksgiving! So, if the Spirit is there, nothing is impossible, because the Spirit himself is the power of the Most High (cf. Luke 1:35) If the Spirit is there, everything is possible, including the Lord's command to his disciples: "You give them something to eat." For today this command is given once again to the disciples of the Lord ; those in his Church whom Christ has chosen have indeed been given this order: "Do this in Memory of Me..." The ministers of the Church have the mission of feeding the People of God: they are ordained in order to give believers the Bread of God after having explained to them the Word of the Lord, that spiritual food which the soul constantly needs. "Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God." (Mt. 4:4)
 
" He said to his disciples, «Make them sit down in companies, about fifty each.» And they did so, and made them all sit down. And taking the five loaves and the two fish he looked up to heaven, and blessed and broke them, and gave them to the disciples to set before the crowd. "
 
The Eucharist, the Bread of Life, is the Bread of Unity! For if consecrated bread is broken and divided, there is nonetheless but one Lord present and offered in sacrifice, there is but one God who is received by each and every one of those who receive the Eucharist. When we have received Christ's Body, we are united to all other believers, in faith, in hope, and in charity: "The bread which we break, is it not a participation in the body of Christ? Because there is one bread, we who are many are one body, for we all partake of the one bread." (1 Co. 10:16-17)
 
When the five thousand men, not counting the women and children, had eaten, it was as if each one of them had eaten the five loaves and the two fishes which the disciples had brought to Jesus: all had miraculously eaten one and the same reality! Similarly, today, the members of Christ's Body receive and eat but one reality, that of the Sacrament of the Eucharist, the Body and Blood of Christ! This miracle of unity in the multiplication of the loaves is sacramentally perpetuated, day after day, throughout the entire Church!
 
" All ate and were satisfied. And they took up what was left over, twelve baskets of broken pieces. "
 
The number twelve about which the Gospel speaks here is very mysterious! It is the number of the Apostles of the Lord, and it is also the number of the Tribes of Israel. It therefore evokes a sense of fullness, for, when there were no more than eleven Apostles, after the death of Judas, they decided to elect a replacement: this was Matthias (cf. Ac. 1:26). Numbers have a real importance in our life, for they give it a certain order. Therefore, it is not surprising that numbers appear when we are dealing with the accomplishment of the very Command of Christ, the Lord of Universe, the Alpha and the Omega of all Creation (cf. Rev. 21:6), he who gives all things their fullness!
 
Let us therefore celebrate in joy and thanksgiving this feast of the Most Holy Sacrament! Let us receive the Body of Christ with a great faith, and with a sincere love! May the Most Holy Virgin Mary help us to accomplish such a profound and magnificent act!
 

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