This weekend we celebrate the feast of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ. John’s Gospel was the last one written, near the end of the 1st century and long after the other Gospels. While all the other Gospels relate the institution of the Eucharist at the Last Supper, John doesn’t: he didn’t have to. Christians understood that
Jesus instituted the Eucharist and were celebrating it “in remembrance” of Him.
Instead, John’s Last Supper concentrates on the washing of feet. He was reminding Christians that the Eucharist was not instituted for us to worship it, but as food and drink to strengthen us so that we can wash the feet of each other. In other words, the central point is service to others; the Body and Blood is given to us to strengthen us to live the great commandment of love.
We would expect the Gospel on this feast to be an account of the institution of the Eucharist, but it is not. It is Luke’s version of the multiplication of the loaves. Why? It is reminding us, as does the washing of the feet, that the Eucharist is given to strengthen us, so that we can go forth and share what we have with those in need.
The Eucharist is a wonderful gift, presented to us to help us live lives of love, service, forgiveness, and generosity. It certainly deserves our respect and our love. But if we stop there, we are missing the point. Jesus didn’t give us His Body and Blood simply to worship it, but rather to feed us and strengthen us in our journey as disciples.
As we celebrate this feast, let us thank God for this wonderful gift and make sure we are using it to grow in love expressed in service. May the Body and Blood of Christ help us to share His love with others. Amen.
Church sign of the week:
Jesus is better than pizza because he can’t be topped!