April 20, 2021
by Beth Samson
Creighton University's Campus Ministry
click here for photo and information about the writer

Tuesday of the Third Week of Easter
Lectionary: 274

Acts 7:51—8:1a
Psalm 31:3cd-4, 6 and 7b and 8a, 17 and 21ab
John 6:30-35

Celebrating the Easter Season

Easter Joy in Everyday Life


Growing up, my family went to the earliest Mass time offered on Sunday mornings – often at 7:00 am, but even as early as 6:00 am. As a child I would roll out of bed as closely to leaving time as possible, and of course we never had a meal before Mass. So, by the time the Liturgy of the Eucharist rolled around, I was dreaming of the muffin, eggs, and bacon that was going to be for breakfast while my stomach rumbled in hunger. I soon figured out, what I thought was, a trick. I would convince myself that when I received the Body of Christ, that it would keep me full until I got to breakfast. To be honest, it was childhood survival strategy. But now I look back on it with theological insight to the wisdom I had as child.

“Jesus said to them, ‘I am the bread of life;
whoever comes to me will never hunger,
and whoever believes in me will never thirst.’”

This small unleavened wafer, the Body of Christ transformed in Mass, would quiet my rumbling stomach ready for breakfast. But even more happens in receiving the Body of Christ.

During a year of post-graduate volunteering in Denver, every Monday, we celebrated Mass as a community. Our chaplain, a Vincentian priest, often presided in these weekly Masses. During the Liturgy of the Eucharist, we gathered in a half circle around the small altar with unleavened bread, that I baked each week as my community “chore.” The priest would break the bread and pray the words that we hear at each Mass “Make holy, therefore, these gifts, we pray, by sending down your Spirit upon them like the dewfall, so that they may become for us the Body and Blood of our Lord, Jesus Christ.” While saying these words, he would hold up the unleavened bread, and look around at each of us gathered together, saying these words to us – that by receiving the Body and Blood of Christ we are transformed, becoming what we are reminded of in the prayer of St. Teresa of Avila:

Christ has no body but yours,
No hands, no feet on earth but yours,
Yours are the eyes with which he looks compassion on this world,
Yours are the feet with which he walks to do good,
Yours are the hands, with which he blesses all the world.
Yours are the hands, yours are the feet,
Yours are the eyes, you are his body.
Christ has no body now but yours,
No hands, no feet on earth but yours,
Yours are the eyes with which he looks compassion on this world.
Christ has no body now on earth but yours.

In receiving the Bread of Life, we no longer spiritually hunger and thirst. In fact, we are transformed and empowered to act as Christ in the world today. May we respond to this nourishment with the courage to be compassionate to those most in need in our communities, to love our enemies, and to use our time, talents, and resources for a more just world.

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