Daily Reflection
June 6th, 1999
Andy Alexander, S.J.
University Ministry and the Collaborative Ministry Office
The Solemnity of the Body and Blood of Christ
In much of the world, this Solemnity is celebrated on Thursday, June 3rd.  In many places, it is a national holiday as well.  Here in the United States, it is moved to this Sunday.

Deuteronomy 8:2-3, 14-16
1 Corinthians 10:16-17
John 6:51-58

I am the living bread which came down from heaven.  If you eat this bread, you will live forever.  The bread I give is my flesh for the life of the world. ...
I can't say this more seriously.  Unless you eat the flesh of the Son of man and drink his blood you have no life in you.  You who eat my flesh and drink my blood have eternal life, and I will raise you up on the last day.  For my flesh is real food and my blood is real drink.
You who eat my flesh and drink my blood make your home in me and I make my home in you.
The Father of life gave me life and sent me, so you who feed on me will have life because of me.
Your ancestors ate the bread that came down from heaven in the desert and died.  If you eat this bread that came down from heaven, you will live forever.

Imagine Jesus speaking to each of us today.  Imagine him, risen in Glory, speaking to us.

I want to give you life - to give your life real freedom and joy - and a life that will last for ever.  I want to take away your fear of dying.  I invite you to make your home in me - now.  Your home will be in me forever.

Let me make my home in your heart.  Let me feed you.  I've given my life for you.  I've shown you that you, too, can give your life away and be free to love as I have loved you.  Let this self-sacrificing example of love nourish you.

When you are hungry, don't turn to other food that fails to satisfy you, or really nourish you.  Turn to me.  In the most difficult of times, when you seem most overwhelmed, let the gift of my very life for you give you strength and freedom and courage.  I offer you a peace the world cannot give you.  I offer you food for the path to heroic love.  With this food, you won't fear losing yourself.  This is the nourishment you need to find yourself.

When you come to those moments of choice in your life - facing a choice between being revengeful or forgiving, staying stuck in a destructive pattern or choosing to be free, self-love or self donation - see me broken and given for you , as a cup poured out for you.  You can recognize me in whatever experience of brokenness that threatens to shatter you.  I have transformed brokenness, for you.

Before my Body, given for you, say "Amen" with all your heart.  Before my Blood, shed for you, say an  "Amen" full of meaning.  With open hands, open heart, with a life open to this gift, be nourished.  I can never be more really present to you than in this gift.  My gift of my very self to you is real food indeed.

And know that this nourishment is a communion in me.  In me you become one in solidarity with my body throughout the world.  One bread, one people.  One cup, a bond forever.  In this meal the hunger of the world comes together.  In this communion, you will hear and feel the cries of brokenness from the rest of your body, my body.  When any part of this body suffers, the whole body turns in compassion.  In this communion, you taste your mission to be bread and wine - my body and blood - for those who hunger and thirst for justice.

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