Dear brothers and sisters,
Today we celebrate the Solemnity of the Body and Blood of Christ, the preeminent gift that Christ gives us, that we may become what we receive at Mass, that we may bread for the life of the world. Many times in life God asks us to do or endure difficult things. He asks us to give ourselves to him by obeying his will, when our natural tendency is to do things our own way. He wants us to follow Church teaching and our well-formed conscience, but that often means giving something up. It means self-sacrifice. In those moments, we sometimes turn away from God because we are afraid that if we give something up for God, we won’t have anything left for ourselves. In the multiplication of the loaves, Jesus addresses that fear. The Apostles were no doubt hungry after a long day of ministry. They barely had enough food to feed themselves (five large loaves and two fish would hardly satisfy a dozen brawny men). Jesus asks them to give it all away. We can picture their sad, tired faces as they reluctantly hand over their dinner to Jesus. Jesus took the loaves, blessed them, broke them, and gave them back to the disciples to distribute to the crowds; and at the end, each disciple had an entire basketful left for himself. By giving the little they had to Christ, they received much more in return. Christ will never, never be outdone in generosity. The more we give to him, the more we will receive. As St. Luke put it in another passage of his Gospel, Jesus said: “Give and gifts will be given to you; a good measure, packed together, shaken down, and overflowing, will be poured into your lap. For the measure with which you measure will in return be measured out to you.” When God asks us to empty ourselves, it’s only so he can have room to fill us up with something better.
As we enter into the summer months, I want to shamelessly invite myself over to your house or to a lunch or dinner. Please never assume that I’m too busy to meet you. You can email me or call me at the parish office. I wish you a blessed summer!