WEDNESDAY HOMILY: Christ is the Banquet for the Hungry
"Behold our God, to whom we looked to save us! This is the LORD for whom we looked; let us rejoice and be glad that he has saved us!"
HYTHE, KENT, UK (Catholic Online) - "Can you make the sign of the Cross for me? No?" I used to be impressed if they knew the precepts of the Church. Now I am just hoping they know the sign of the Cross.
That is where we are at. Catholics are making the windmill, the left-right baseball sign, the let-me-make-something-up-so-I-look-like-I-know sign. They don't even know what ought to be the most fundamental instinct of a Catholic - how to make the sign of the Cross.
They are starving. They have not been fed. Be not afraid. Jesus is our food. He is the hope of the starving Church, those who have not been properly evangelized or catechized.
In the Gospel today, Jesus is the promised One whose coming brings about the nourishment of man. In the first reading the prophecy of the mountain where the holy feast of God, in which man is abundantly provided for, is fulfilled in Christ who says, "My flesh is true food" (John 6:55).
The Lord gives his very Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity in the mystery of the Most Holy Eucharist, which as the Second Vatican Council says, is the "source and summit" of our faith. It is the summit or mountain where we are fed the most bountiful and lush feast beyond anyone's imagining.
In the holy season of Advent, we will see many of the readings in the Old Testament being fulfilled in Jesus Christ. Advent is a season where the words of the Catechism of the Catholic Church are reaffirmed, "Christians therefore read the Old Testament in the light of Christ crucified and risen."
We see in the Church today the need for this prophecy to be fulfilled again. So many are deprived of the riches of the Eucharist because they are not taught what it is. They are not fed by Christ because they don't even know that he is there. Who will feed them?
If you spend a few moments with Jesus in the Eucharist you will most likely experience the "moving" of the Heart of Christ. He says the word's of the Gospel to us today. "My heart is moved with pity for the crowd, for they have nothing to eat."
Christ feeds the crowd, but he needs workers to distribute the food. YOU. If you are reading this, YOU are the one who must feed your brothers and sisters. If you have enough faith to read a Catholic Online article, chances are you not only know the sign of the Cross and can teach it to others, chances are you probably know that Christ is truly present in the Eucharist and can feed the starving with good things promised to them.
Charity demands that you respond, just as if you saw a starving man and did not feed him, it cannot be said that you do not have charity, likewise, when you see people starving for faith, you must feed them. Simply because you know the truth, you must share the truth.
This is not easy. We need help to do this well, or to do this at all.
Let us invoke the holy Mother of God, Mary, the Mother of the Eucharist, whose womb was the oven from which the Bread of Life came forth to feed the hungry, when he was born in Bethlehem, which means in Hebrew, "the place of bread" and placed in a manger, a feeding device for animals. May her prayers and intercession help us to feed those starving for a lack of faith, and in this year of faith, may we respond generously to the One who calls us.
Father Samuel Medley, SOLT, is a priest of the Society of Our Lady of the Most Holy Trinity, and is currently based in Hythe, Kent, United Kingdom. He is a speaks to groups around the world on Blessed Pope John Paul II's Theology of the Body. Visit his homily blog http://medleyminute.blogspot.com or his blog on sexual ethics http://loveandresponsibility.org
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Pope Benedict XVI's Prayer Intentions for January 2013
General Intention: The Faith of Christians. That in this Year of Faith Christians may deepen their knowledge of the mystery of Christ and witness joyfully to the gift of faith in him.
Missionary Intention: Middle Eastern Christians. That the Christian communities of the Middle East, often discriminated against, may receive from the Holy Spirit the strength of fidelity and perseverance.
Keywords: Year of Faith, homily, Eucharist, Virgin Mary
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