If you’ve ever tried to lose weight, you know what it’s like to be hungry. On the other hand, if you’ve ever eaten a large meal, you know what it’s like to feel full. Being full can mean feeling uncomfortable, bloated, lethargic, drowsy, listless, heavy, passive, slothful and slow. There is no room for more. Being hungry can mean anticipating, craving, longing, yearning, desiring, aspiring and hoping. There is always room for more.
When it comes to the body and blood of Christ in which we partake at every eucharist, I wonder, are we fuller or hungrier? We are blessed to be able to celebrate the Eucharist not only on Sundays but on weekdays. This was the theme of a letter written by Blessed John Paul II in 1980 on the “Mystery and Worship of the Most Holy Eucharist.” The former Pope was concerned that unlike decades past, everyone was now going to communion (emphasis added). He didn’t say this was a bad thing. He was merely trying to stimulate our awareness of what we are doing when we partake in Christ’s body and blood by saying, “If our eucharist is authentic, it must make us grow in the awareness of the dignity of each person. The awareness of that dignity becomes the deepest motive of our relationship with our neighbor.” In other words, do we who so casually and freely approach the table of the Lord realize what it means to say “Amen”? As we celebrate the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ, let us pray for the grace of awareness.
O Lord, for those who hunger for daily bread or human dignity, we pray. Amen.