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Fr Eamon: The Eucharist, gift of God for the life of the world

Corpus Christi - Year B - 3rd June, 2018

A Christian came to me in Lagos, Nigeria and asked me for some of the hosts I used in my Sunday service at Mass. When I questioned him about the request, he had not a clue about the Eucharist and its significance and meaning. He just thought it might be good for "business".

By contrast with that incident, when an atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima at the end of World War 2, the priest for that area, after 10 days, went to see the devastation and found a 16 year-old girl who asked him: "Father, did you bring me Holy Communion?"

Bishop Shanahan was a Bishop in Nigeria. He felt he should go to the nearby country of Cameroon and see if the faith had yet reached them. It had but they had no priest to celebrate the Eucharist for them. So he stayed for a few months. Then, when he was sailing back to Nigeria, they waved him off and shouted: "Come back and bring us the Lord".

Are you a Blessed Sacrament person? Are you ready to be broken like the priest breaks the Host / Bread at Mass, reminding us of the breaking of Jesus' Body? Receiving Communion at Mass nourishes me with the strength of Jesus. The child was out for a walk with her mother, beside the field of golden wheat shining in the bright sunshine. Mother said to the child: "You could be receiving that wheat in your next Holy Communion". The child bent over and kissed the wheat and said to her mother: "Now Jesus will hve my kiss when He comes into that Bread".

The Christian wants to build a new world of Peace, without bombs; no hunger; no divisions; but wants to be a peacemaker at home; at school; in the world.

Today at Mass we want to be renewed in the image of God. That means being kind, humble, gentle, patient and forgiving. With nourishment from the bread of life, we have the strength to live like that. St. Paul says: "And above all these, put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony.

Today's feast is the last special celebration that follows Easter. Not that we are still in the Easter season; that ended on Pentecost. But to cap all these celebrations since Holy Week, one very important event needs to come before us. This feast recalls whet Jesus did for us.

The Eucharist is both the summit toward which the activity of the Church is directed and the fount from which all her power flows.

Fr. Eamon Raftery C.M.

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