June 14, 2020
by Julie Kalkowski
Creighton University's Financial Hope Collaborative
click here for photo and information about the writer

Solemnity of the Body and Blood of Christ
Lectionary: 167

Deuteronomy 8:2-3, 14b-16a
Psalm 147:12-13, 14-15, 19-20
1 Corinthians 10:16-17
John 6:51-58

Praying Ordinary Time

Prayers for Fathers and Husbands

For those celebrating Thursday's Memorial of St. Barnabas

For those celebrating the 11th Sunday in Ordinary Time today

Weekly Guide for Daily Prayer

Rediscovering Corporal Works of Mercy

“Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me and I in him.”

As I sat with these readings several weeks ago, all’s I could think of was how the Israelites wandered in the desert for 40 years.  Were they so hard hearted that God tested them for more than a generation?  We’re not even 40 weeks into this pandemic in America and already the signs of strain are evident.  The other theme that kept surfacing was that God fed them. God provided the sustenance they needed to continue their journey.

However, I stepped away from today’s readings when both my mother and mother-in-law entered hospice care within days of each other. My beloved mother-in-law, Elaine, passed away yesterday. Due to COVID-19, no family was able to be with Elaine when she died. Knowing that none of us could be there during her deathwatch was the most difficult part of these past few weeks.  As I racked my brains trying to figure out how to let Elaine know we were ‘with’ her, both my daughters did something that so reminded me of Elaine, I found the answer. My oldest daughter has her sense of delight and laughs just the way she did. My youngest daughter has Elaine’s steely resolve to be able to do very difficult things because they need to be done.  Knowing part of Elaine will live on in my daughters provided me some comfort.

That comfort led me back to today’s readings on this solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ.  By gifting us with an ongoing reminder of himself in the Eucharist, Jesus physically lets us know he is still with us. He did and will continue to feed us. Jesus knew our human nature so well. How else could we human beings carry on Jesus’ teachings without a lasting tangible presence? The Eucharist can provide us the resolve and ability to fulfill God’s greatest commandment to love one another. 

Just as parts of my mother-in-law live on in my daughters, may the parts of Jesus that are needed most now live on in us so that we too, can feed our struggling world. 

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