Step #1: Lectio / Read
Jesus spoke to the crowds about the kingdom of God,
and he healed those who needed to be cured.
As the day was drawing to a close,
the Twelve approached him and said,
"Dismiss the crowd
so that they can go to the surrounding villages and farms
and find lodging and provisions;
for we are in a deserted place here."
He said to them, "Give them some food yourselves."
They replied, "Five loaves and two fish are all we have,
unless we ourselves go and buy food for all these people."
Now the men there numbered about five thousand.
Then he said to his disciples,
"Have them sit down in groups of about fifty."
They did so and made them all sit down.
Then taking the five loaves and the two fish,
and looking up to heaven,
he said the blessing over them, broke them,
and gave them to the disciples to set before the crowd.
They all ate and were satisfied.
And when the leftover fragments were picked up,
they filled twelve wicker baskets.
Step #2: Meditatio / Meditate
As the Catholic Church universal joins together in celebration of one of the highest Feast Days of the Church’s calendar, Corpus Christi, we turn our attention to FOOD, something we all love!
Years ago when I spent some time working in the food industry, our entire kitchen staff was often challenged to make gourmet meals out of the simplest everyday ingredients. Frequent special requests would lead us to combining frozen foods, fresh veggies, maybe a few left over steaks from the night before, the secret ingredient and then in no time presto… a beautiful dish for some hungry stomachs. These experiences taught me a lot, but the simple lesson was this…”the secret to a good meal is the love put into it.”
On this great Solemnity of the Body and Blood of Christ, Jesus reminds us that great meals can come from the simplest everyday ingredients. Bread and fish in the Gospel becomes an abundance of food for 5,000 hungry people. Bread and wine through the power of the Holy Spirit become truly the Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of Jesus Christ at every Holy Mass.
Think about this… a few ingredients offered with great love can become an incredible meal that feeds billions.
Holy Mass is important beyond our understanding because Jesus, who is LOVE ITSELF, gives the totality of who He is so we can have the best food (the Eucharist); food that carries us to eternal life. Even though the ingredients might seem simple at Mass, know that because of His Love, we are present not only at the Cross, but partaking in a gourmet meal, a true foretaste of the Heavenly Banquet. Praise God for this gift!
Step #3: Oratio / Pray
"Five loaves and two fish are all we have."
Is your favorite food earthly or heavenly? Be honest!
Jesus promises eternal life for those who eat His Flesh and drink His Blood. Is there anything that keeps my from this great promise?
Where do I need to put more love into my devotion to the Eucharist? Is Jesus calling you closer to Him?
Step #4: Contemplatio / Contemplate
"Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me and I in him."
"They all ate and were satisfied."
For the Rest of Your Day...
Have you encountered Jesus today in the Eucharist? He is waiting for you. Stop by for a visit... better yet, if it is not too late for Mass, come and receive Him who is our Heavenly food.
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Today's prayer was prepared by Fr. John McNamara.