Corpus Christi (A)
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God’s journey with his people in the desert involved difficulties but also God’s providence and care. You were hungry and I fed you with manna – ‘a food unknown to you’. (See Ex 16). Providing food is a basic expression of care for your children. It creates a bond. And yet they soon grew tired of this ‘manna’. It became taken for granted. How could you reawaken a deeper sense of appreciation for God feeding us with the Word and the Body and Blood of Jesus at Mass? Is it ‘normal’ or ‘special’? How?
There were many temples in the city of Corinth. It was ‘normal’ to take food and offer it to various ‘god’s and pledge allegiance to them. St Paul writes this is not to happen with christians. At the sacred meal (Eucharist) we participate in and receive the blood of Christ and the body of Christ. It is not right to then join your body with worship to other ‘altars’ and ‘demons’ (1Cor 10,21). Is my communion with Jesus real or superficial? Does my life-style show I have many ‘gods’ and ‘altars’ that I worship at? What change and purification may be necessary in my life?
Moses was greatly revered for ‘feeding’ people with bread from heaven (1st Reading). Jesus now replaces Moses and this ‘event’ with his body. ‘Heavenly Bread’ is now replaced with ‘flesh’. It is no accident that the words flesh and blood are repeated 10 times in this text. How can this man give us his flesh to eat is a question that leads to layers of questions. Is Jesus a ‘man’ or the Divine Son of God? Is the real question ‘how’ can this happen or ‘who’ is making this promise? Do you believe in these words? This promise? What the Mass brings into the life of the world and the Church and offers personally to you?
SOURCE: Living the Word resources are created by Fr Frank Bird a Marist priest and Mrs Bev McDonald, ACSD, distributed by Marist Laity Auckland, NZ
Difficult experiences are painful at the the time. It is usually only later that we can see whatever good has come of them. Do I find this to be true in my own life? Does such wisdom help me at present? Do I realise that, all along, God’s intention was “in the end to do me good”?
When did I myself become deeply aware of my communion with Christ and fellowship with Christians?
Jesus tells us that to have life we need more than physical nourishment. How have you been aware of deeper hungers? What has met that deeper longing in you?
Jesus tells us that it is not just something he gives us which will give us life, but himself in his life, death and resurrection. How has your faith in the person of Jesus fed you?
SOURCE: Hearers of the Word
Can we in this time of racial inequality, gun violence in schools, wars, and climate crisis relate to the Israelites in the desert? What is the manna God gives us now?
Does it sound like the Eucharist is a prize just for good people, or for us all, weak included, that helps us to move forward?
When Jesus gives us himself in the Eucharist, does he give us just his presence, or does he give it in the action of the whole Paschal Mystery (passion, death, resurrection)? Discuss.
1. Discuss the value of family meals in terms of developing and maintaining the bonds of love and unity in the family. Does your family still have a family meal once a day? Once a week? Do you value that time for the love and unity which binds the family together? Is sharing food a sign of mutual faithfulness in your family and in your parish?
2. Do you see any connection between the Catholic tradition of frequent celebration of the Eucharist and our love of song, dance, and good food in many Catholic families? Do you see any connection between our Masses and our soup kitchens and food banks? During the Great Depression of the 1920s and 30s, Catholic neighborhoods took care of each other with assurances of food for every family. How do we do that today?
3. What sign of special reverence do you show to the body and blood of Christ as you approach the Eucharist at Sunday Mass? What reverence do you show toward the Blessed Sacrament reserved in the tabernacle in our churches? Do you sometimes spend time with the Lord in prayer before the Blessed Sacrament as a prolongation of the action of the Eucharist?
SOURCE: Portland Diocese
1. Moses exhorts his people to feed on the Word of God. What keeps people from acting on this exhortation? What motivates you to do it?
2. Moses exhorts his people to feed on the Word of God. What keeps people from acting on this exhortation? What motivates you to do it?
3. How has your understanding of the participation in the Eucharist changed or developed over the years?
4. What causes so many people raised Catholic to lose faith in the Eucharist? What helps you to keep faith in the Eucharist?
5. Name one thing today’s Gospel says to us that we disciples of Jesus need to heed and act on.
SOURCE: Ascension Catholic Parish, Melbourne, FL
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by Edrianne Ezell
What was the reason God gave the manna to the Israelites as they wandered through the wilderness for 40 years? What does he say their response should be?
St. Paul is warning the Corinthians not to mix the Eucharist and pagan sacrifices (1 Corinthians 10:1-15). What does this say about the Eucharist? About those that receive it?
What happens if the Flesh and Blood of Christ is received unworthily (1 Corinthians 11:27-30; CCC 1385)? What should be our attitude when we partake of the Eucharist?
Who is Jesus speaking to? What great miracle has he just performed?Where does this discourse take place (John 6:59)? What does he say about the city in which heis speaking (Matthew 11:22ff) and how they received his message?
What are the blessings of following Jesus’ commands to eat his flesh and drink his blood(John 6:51, 54, 56-58)? What is the consequence for those who don’t (John 6:53)? According toJesus’ promise in this passage, when does eternal life begin if you eat his flesh?
How often do you go to Communion? What is your experience of God’s life when you do? Ifyou are unable to receive Communion at this time, how important is it for you work towards that goal? What will be lacking in your spiritual life if you don’t?