Today is the Feast of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ. The Eucharist has been called “the source and summit of our faith.” And most certainly it is. For when we take the Eucharist, “we become what we receive.” The readings today are interesting, and give us a glimpse into this great mystery of the Eucharist.
The first reading is from Genesis 14. In just a few short verses, we read about Melchizedek, the king of Salem. The story of Melchizedek’s meeting with Abraham is very short, but this man is a key figure in Eucharistic theology. He is the king of Salem, in Hebrew “shalom,” which means peace. So he is the King of Peace. Jesus, who is “a priest forever, in the order of Melchizedek” is the Prince of Peace. Melchizedek offers bread and wine. Jesus offers bread and wine which become His Body and Blood. Do a bit of study on Melchizedek. I know you’ll find it fascinating. The second reading is St. Paul’s account of the Lord’s Supper from 1 Corinthians 11.
You would think that the Gospel reading would be from John 6, or perhaps one of the accounts of the Last Supper from one of the synoptic Gospels. But it is from Luke 9, where Jesus feeds the five thousand. Why this reading? Because, just as Jesus fed the multitudes miraculously that day, so He feeds the multitudes miraculously still today. So this feeding of the multitude is a foreshadowing of the Eucharist. Only today, it is not five loaves and two fish that feed, but the Body and Blood of Christ Himself. The food that endures for eternal life. Praise Jesus!!
Father, we thank you for the gift of Jesus’ Body and Blood, that we might eat and drink for eternal life. May we never take this great miracle for granted. Amen.