Dear Believers in the Christ,
In Luke 9:11b-17, the disciples seem to be in scarcity. They questioned Jesus about how to feed a hungry crowd. They feared for the people who were in need, “for we are in a deserted place here.” It is in this moment of scarcity and hunger that Jesus invites them to see differently. He invites them to believe in him in a deeper, more profound way.
Jesus says, “Give them some food yourselves.” The disciples were astonished because all they had to offer were five loaves of bread and two fish. With such hunger among them, this would never fill the bodies of so many that numbered five thousand men alone. Jesus invited them to trust. He began an incredible miracle of feeding the vast crowd with leftovers.
This passage of human hunger is the foundation of the eternal Eucharist. As we gather on Sundays, we are all hungry for not only food, but for justice, for mercy, for forgiveness, for meaning, and for a sense of belonging. The food we receive is from the action of the Eucharistic celebration that feeds us repeatedly with the eternal Real Presence of Jesus Christ.
This feast of The Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ reflects Holy Thursday. On the night before Jesus died, he reminded his disciples of all the moments of abundance they had experienced in his ministry. The food that we share at Mass is his genuine love for us, God’s beloved. This nourishment is also about abundance. The mercy and forgiveness we all desire is eternally extended to us. The Eucharist becomes our identity as Christians. It forms our hearts in need and shows us how to serve others beyond Sunday Mass.
We become what we eat. We are the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ on earth, for we belong to him through his death and resurrection. God will never leave us to hunger for love and purpose. He feeds us with the scriptures as well as his Body and Blood. The Mass becomes our way of life, the formation of our souls, our hearts, and our actions.
We become even more of a family after we celebrate Mass. We grow ever more deeply into the mystery of Jesus Christ. We grow ever more deeply into trusting God and the people with whom we celebrate.
Our identity is to offer one another the hope, the food, the belief, and the love of eternal life. The Mass continues to be celebrated in our actions in the world, well beyond the church door when we leave.
This Friday, June 24, 2022, is the Solemnity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. It is the feast day of our parish. In our centennial year, this day is a source of grace. Our celebrations of our centennial are very close, so we have decided not to celebrate this Friday. Please pray for the mission of our three churches as our entire parish is dedicated to the Sacred Heart. We will welcome a new pastor next month, so please pray for Fr. Jarrod Waugh, CSC as we continue the mission of the Mass to offer love, hope, and grace to all.
The gospel for Friday is Luke 15:3-7, the Good Shepherd who chases down the lost sheep. It is a deep and profound reminder of the love of Jesus Christ for us all. Even in our need, the Shepherd seeks us out. The Heart of Christ is not static. It is not just to be adored. The Heart of Christ is about the mission of forgiveness, gentleness, and love. The broken hearts of people rest assuredly in the Heart of Christ, for we all need God in our lives. God does not abandon us; we are never alone. The Sacred Heart of Jesus is a fountain of hope for us, the Church.
They all ate and were satisfied. And when the leftover fragments were picked up, they filled twelve wicker baskets.
God give you peace.
Fr. Ron Raab, CSC, Pastor