Reflection for the Feast of Corpus Christi

Maria Fidelis Gospel Choir - senior choir of the year.Jesus, the Bread of Life

The feast of Corpus Christi is more than a reminder that Jesus is indeed the Bread of Life. It is also a celebration of his generous hospitality. When he feeds the multitudes, we see his warm welcome to those who had come to hear him speak about God. In one of Matthew's accounts of the multiplication of the loaves (15: 29 -37), he was up in the hills, but the people toiled up to him and stayed with him. They were drawn to him, attracted by his loving kindness. Their desire for what he had to give, the food of the spirit, was strong and he gave it to them in abundance. And yet, although he knew that they hungered for more than simple bread, he did not ignore their physical needs. He could not bear to see them go away hungry, so he gave them the physical sustenance they also needed. Bread here, as always in the gospels, is a symbol of that spiritual food that appeases the hunger of the soul.

So Jesus' hospitality is wide; it embraces the whole person. He wants them to go away satisfied, physically and spiritually. And they did. They all ate as much as they wanted. Perhaps they said to one another, 'See, this is our God in whom we hoped for salvation...we exult and we rejoice that he has saved us; for the hand of the Lord rests on this mountain.' And before this feast on the green hill, he had cured so many of them of their ills. So it was a day to remember. They experienced the compassion of Jesus, going out to meet every kind of human need: physical disability, tiredness, hunger. 'I feel sorry for these people,' he said to his disciples.

Corpus Christi is a celebration of the hospitality and compassion of Jesus. It shows us God's tenderness living in Jesus. What a wonderful feast!

Our FCJ Life
In my small community – and I think we are pretty typical of any FCJ community – anyone turning up unexpectedly will get a warm welcome, a cup of tea and, if they want it, a chat. We believe a welcoming spirit is inseparable from genuine 'companionship', a word whose root meaning is 'sharing bread with'....

Is it true that, in the words of Bernadette Farrell's lovely song,
in the land, in the world, in our own lives,
there is 'a hunger for more than bread'?