Saint Thomas of Canterbury, Bolton

Stay with us, Lord, on our journey

Cycle C

The Body and Blood of Christ


Loaves&Fishes Ravenna mosaic. jpg

 Luke 9:11-17

 “Give them something to eat yourselves”

Jesus seems to demand the impossible here. Thousands of people, way out in the countryside, and only five loaves and two fish to hand. But what seems impossible is not beyond the power of God. Jesus takes the little they have and, by the wondrous power of God, they are able to feed the five thousand. He took the loaves and fish “and said the blessing over them, then he broke them and handed them to his disciples”. We see here a clear echo of what happened at the Last Supper. In today’s second reading, St. Paul tells us what happened there, how Jesus had taken the bread, blessed it, broke it and gave it, saying “this is my body, which is for you”.

And now in the Eucharist Jesus takes the little we have to offer, a humble symbol of the gift of our life. He blesses it, breaks it, and gives it back to us, having first pronounced over it “this is my body given up for you”. What seems impossible is not beyond the wondrous power of Jesus himself – through this bread, blessed and broken, he gives himself to us, to be our food, our life. In communion with him, we are to become like him, one with him in mind and heart, in word and deed.

“Do this in memory of me” says Jesus. He is asking us to take up the bread and wine just as he did at the Last Supper, that for sure. But is he not also asking us to take up the kind of life he led, bringing good news to the poor, healing and help to those in need, reconciliation and peace into troubled lives? To do “this” in memory of Jesus, is to share in the body of Christ in church, to "become on body one spirit in Christ", then to be the body of Christ in the world That is why he says to us today: “Give them something to eat yourselves”.