Our Ministries
17 Aug

Twentieth Sunday in Ordinary Time

To Be Flesh and Blood

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

Remember all the bread imagery in the readings of the past few weeks? This Sunday we hear the word “eat” six times in the Gospel. Our first thoughts of when this happens probably turn to the action of eating and drinking at the time of Communion at Mass. Has that action—the standing up, walking in procession and the eating and drinking—become routine? Is it something that we just fall in line to do?

When I reflect on the image above, I am reminded of what it means to be in relationship, to be in communion, not just with Jesus but with all of humanity. To remain in communion with Jesus, we are invited to participate in the life of Jesus, to live as Jesus lived.

Who of us would not want to be in this picture? Who wouldn’t want to be at the table with Jesus? What incredible intimacy! What generous companionship! What immense love and acceptance!

To remain in the closeness of this relationship with Jesus, we too are invited to be body broken and blood poured out for others. To remain in Jesus and Jesus in us, we are called to live as Jesus lived. Are we able to love all without exception, to heal the brokenness of others, to be compassionate, to include others at our table, to forgive, to denounce wrong-doing?

The readings, the lyrics of the hymns we sing, the intercessory prayers and the words of our Eucharistic prayers provide clues to how it is that each of us is called to be “flesh and blood” not only to those who celebrate Eucharist with us, but also all our sisters and brothers.