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Contemplating today's Gospel

Today's Gospel + homily (in 300 words)

Body and Blood of Christ (C)

1st Reading (Gen 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: 109
R/. You are a priest forever, in the line of Melchizedek.
The Lord said to my Lord: «Sit at my right hand till I make your enemies your footstool».

The scepter of your power the Lord will stretch forth from Zion: «Rule in the midst of your enemies».

«Yours is princely power in the day of your birth, in holy splendor; before the daystar, like the dew, I have begotten you».

The Lord has sworn, and he will not repent: «You are a priest forever, according to the order of Melchizedek».
2nd Reading (1Cor 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.
Versicle before the Gospel (Jn 6:51): Alleluia. I am the living bread that came down from heaven, says the Lord; whoever eats this bread will live forever. Alleluia.
Gospel text (Lk 9,11b-17): The crowd caught up with Jesus in Bethsaida, He welcomed them and began speaking about the kingdom of God, curing those who needed healing. The day was drawing to a close and the Twelve drew near to tell him, «Send the crowd away and let them go into the villages and farms around, to find lodging and food, for we are here in a lonely place». But Jesus replied, «You yourselves give them something to eat». They answered, «We have only five loaves and two fish; do you want us to go and buy food enough for all this crowd?».

For there were about five thousand men. Then Jesus said to his disciples, «Make people sit down in groups of fifties». So they made all of them settle down. Jesus then took the five loaves and two fish, and raising his eyes to heaven, pronounced a blessing over them; he broke them and gave them to the disciples to distribute to the crowd. They ate and everyone had enough; and when they gathered up what was left, twelve baskets were filled with broken pieces.

«You yourselves give them something to eat»

Fr. Antoni CAROL i Hostench (Sant Cugat del Vallès, Barcelona, Spain)

Today is the greatest day for a Christian's heart, because, after celebrating the institution of the Eucharist on the Holy Thursday, the Church now is trying to exalt this revered Sacrament, to make us adore it without limit. «Quantum potes, tantum aude...», «dare to do your best»: this is the invitation St. Thomas Aquinas makes us in a wonderful hymn of praise to the Eucharist. And, in a most admirable way, this invitation sums up what our heart's feelings should be before Christ's true presence in the Eucharist. To reciprocate such a humble, hidden, and so impressive donation, whatever we can do will never be enough. The Almighty Creator of Heaven and Earth hides under the Sacramental species and offers himself to us as the food that feeds our souls. He is bread of angels and food of wayfarers. And it is bread of life we are being abundantly given, as the bread to avoid the weakness of those following him was miraculously multiplied to be distributed without any measure: «They ate and everyone had enough; and when they gathered up what was left, twelve baskets were filled with broken pieces» (Lk 9:17).

In front of this overabundance of love our reaction can never be stingy. An attentive and deep gaze of faith to this Divine Sacrament, must necessarily give way to a grateful prayer and to a passionate heart. In his sermons, St. Josemaria used to repeat the words a certain venerable bishop addressed to the priests he had just ordained: «Treat him well for me, treat him well!».

A quick conscience examination will help us realizing what we are to do to treat the Sacramented Jesus more delicately: the cleanliness of our soul —it must always be in grace to receive him—, the correctness of what we wear —as a sign of love and reverence—, the frequency with which we come closer to receive him, the number of times we visit him in the Tabernacle... Our attentions with our Lord in the Eucharist should be countless. Let us fight to receive and treat Jesus Sacramented with the purity, humility and devotion of his Blessed Mother, with the spirit and the fervor of the saints.