As most of you know Bishop LaValley has lifted the dispensation from the obligation to attend mass this weekend. That means that after more than a year all Catholics are obligated to attend mass on Saturday night or Sunday Morning.
The bishop’s announcement could not come at a better time because we’re pretty hungry:
Hungry for human contact: to re-connect with family and friends beyond the four walls we’ve been confined behind.
Hungry for peace of mind: to satisfy our fear and anxiety, to know that we and our families are safe, to getting back to “normal” — whatever “normal” will be.
Hungry for the little things that bring joy and laughter to our days: having a picnic at the park, going to a movie theater, having a dinner party at home with our friends.
Hungry for a sense of purpose to our days: to go back to work doing something constructive and purposeful, bringing home a paycheck again, contributing something meaningful to our communities, caring for those who are struggling.
Some of us have experienced a hunger that will never be satisfied: losing a loved one to the virus and not being able to say goodbye.
Some of us have been hungry for bread itself, struggling to put food on the table each evening, having to do without many of the simple, basic things we depend on.
And we’re all starving for something which “bread” alone cannot satisfy. And that brings us to what this Feast is all about this weekend.
This weekend’s feast of the Body and Blood of the Lord is especially meaningful after this challenging year: we’re hungry for Jesus in the Eucharist!
We’ve come to realize a “hunger” in our lives that food and drink cannot come close to satisfying: a hunger to belong, a hunger to matter, a hunger to be at peace, a hunger to love and be loved.
If nothing else, this past year has given us a new appreciation and understanding of the great gift that Jesus gave the world the night before he died at the last supper: that the “bread” that truly nourishes is generosity and compassion that mirrors His generosity and compassion.
St. Augustine in one of his sermons talked about the Eucharist. He stressed the fact that the Eucharist unites us not only to Jesus but to each other and when we are united to each other and to Jesus in the Eucharist we become the Body of Christ.
So, he said, "Believe what you see, see what you believe and become what you are: the Body of Christ."
When we say "Amen", we are saying "Yes! I believe this is the Body and Blood of Christ and that I will be the Body of Christ to others."
Let us pray, then, that when our hunger for Christ is satisfied today by receiving Holy Communion, that we WILL believe what we see, we WILL see what we believe and we WILL become what we are:
The Body and Blood of Christ!