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Sunday, July 31, 2016

Being the Body of Christ

“This is a deserted place and it is already late; dismiss the crowds so that they can go to the villages
and buy food for themselves.” Mt 14:14

Fear is a powerful and dangerous motivator, so strong at times it can overwhelm our good judgment and cause us to harm ourselves and others. When a mother can't afford to feed a child, she might do almost anything to find food. Anyone who has lived among the very poor knows this. Women everywhere have sold themselves to support their children, and fathers have stolen money and goods for the same purpose.

We don't know how fearful the disciples were when Jesus told them to feed the hungry themselves, but they immediately resist his command to feed those who are following him. Afraid, perhaps, that they would not have enough for themselves, they try to reason with Jesus, but the Lord will have none of it. Jesus insists that there is always enough if we take not what we want to feel comfortable, but what we need to stay alive and healthy. Sharing the goods of the earth is a foundational Gospel principle.

People should not have to live in fear for their next meal, but millions still do and it should offend every Christian to reflect upon this. If Catholics reduce the Eucharist to mass or adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, they do a disservice to Jesus command to "give them some food yourselves." (Lk 9:13)

Today, enjoy the Eucharist and feed someone who is hungry.

How do you understand Jesus' command to be the Body of Christ?

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