In AGAPE

June 19, 2022 – Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ

Click here for the readings (https://bible.usccb.org/bible/readings/061922.cfm)

There was once a man who desired to know the difference between heaven and hell. He went through a lot of painstaking investigation as to the distinction between heaven and hell. But in vain, because all he got were some descriptions, pictures and stories depicting about heaven and hell.   

One night in his sleep, he dreamt that he found himself in front of the Lord. The Lord asked him, “What is it that you desire?” He replied, “Lord, I like to experience the difference between heaven and hell.” So, the Lord said, “Go into that room.” So, he went into a room filled with sad, hungry, sick, weak and malnourished people. While observing around, he noticed that at the center of the room, there is a big pot of steaming delicious rice soup (arrozcaldo). However, he realized people could not enjoy the food because they are using spoons with long handle. He thought, “to eat your food using spoon with long handle must surely be hell.” Outside he told the Lord, “Now I know what hell is. How about heaven?” The Lord directed him to another room. Upon entering, he met happy, healthy and alive people, and he said to himself : “This must be heaven”. He also observed that at the center of the room lies a big pot of steaming hot delicious arrozcaldo, and also people were using spoons with long handle. Coming out from the room more confused, he then asked the Lord: “Now what’s the difference? Both are in the room with delicious food in their midst while using spoons with long handles to feed. How come people in hell are sick, people in heaven are healthy?” The Lord replied, “Sadly people in hell never learned to use their spoons properly. Their long-handle spoons are meant to feed others than themselves. In heaven, people enjoys instead the food together by feeding each other and one another in kindness and communion.

Our gospel today reminded us of the miracle of the multiplication of loaves. Although caused by Jesus, the miracle-happened is not only the multiplication of food and the feeding of multitudes but moreso on the agape or communion: food-blessings shared and enjoyed by all. Same as today, people then must had bought their own meal for themselves to attend the big meeting and gathering. But as the people witnessed what Jesus did with the little bread kindly offered, blessed, distributed and shared with others, they were also inspired and move to offer, pray, and share in kindness the small food-baon they have with others. The real miracle then is the Agape-Communion, i.e.  food-shared and the sharing in kindness of the food. Thus heaven be-like and miracles do happen whenever people share whatever little blessings that we have with one another & others in loving kindness.

For the past three Sundays, we put value to the treasures the risen Lord has left us to sustain in our Christian daily lives. Jesus once said: “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life”. Through the gift of the Holy Spirit, we come to believe and proclaim the TRUTH that our Lord Jesus is the Son of God, who makes us know and call our God as our Father, and thus we are God’s children.  With the gift of the Holy Trinity, we learn the WAY to aspire for God’s love and life by glorifying our Father through the witness of the Son, and in the power of the Holy Spirit. As shown to us by our Lord, the gift of His Body and Blood offers us the LIFE to nourish, sustain and direct our faith-life journey toward our heaven – God’s life and glory.

Today the whole Church celebrates the Solemnity of Corpus Christi: the Body and Blood of Christ. This is to remind us that the Lord has given and left us the gift of Eucharist as Life to live and follow as Christian. Our readings today reminded us that God has continually nourished us in Life. Through the Body and Blood of Christ, God offers us Jesus as our food to nourish and sustain us in daily faith-life journey. However, for miracles to happen and a taste of heaven be enjoyed in life, the Eucharist as food for our journey are meant to be shared in kindness with others and one another. In other words, food and graces given to us are not only meant for ourselves but must be blessed and shared in communion and kindness with others & one another in life as Community of faith. The food and life God offers us through the Body of Blood Christ then are meant to be in agape and communion with others and one another, and not to be keep only for oneself.

We might say nowadays: “You are what you eat, and who you eat with” or “The food you eat reflects your identity and your company to keep.” Like, a vegetarian eats vegetables with vegetarians. Meat-eater parties with meat-eaters. Drinkers hangs-out with drunkards. In the same way, Catholics who attend and receive Eucharist regularly are spiritually healthy, happy, more kind and generous to share with others. Catholics however who rarely attend and receive Communion – as we have been deprived lately due to lockdowns & restrictions, tends to be spiritually weak, usually sad, stingy and selfish to share with others. Again for miracles to happen and for us to have a glimpse and taste of heaven in life, we must learn to properly receive our blessings by attending, taking and sharing Holy Eucharist with others and one another in community.

As we are continually nourished by God through the Eucharist, the life of the Body and Blood of Christ, may we be more inspired, nourished, and moved to share our faith and blessings in kindness and communion with others & one another. Amen.

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