We are in the midst of a “bonus” experienced every three years in the Liturgical cycle of Mass readings. This year “B” uses Mark’s Gospel for our Sunday Gospel readings. Since his Gospel is too brief to fill the 33 Sunday roster, some wise Church scholars decided to use five summer Sundays of year “B” to present the 6th Chapter of St. John’s Gospel to the faithful. This is the chapter in which Jesus declares Himself to be the Bread of Life. Written before believers had much clarity on what we recognize as Eucharist, this chapter offers a peek into the development of our sacrament.
Today’s scripture readings turn my thoughts to the idea of nourishment. One of my favorite references to nourishment comes from a mill workers’ union fight song that I learned about when in Lowell, Massachusetts. One line of the song mentions that hearts starve as well as bodies; and the request is then to give us bread but also give us roses!
What a great broadening of the concept of nourishment! We know that our intake of food and water is critical for our well-being but we can, at times, overlook the nourishment that our mind and spirit require. Beauty, silence, friendship and rest are some ways I know that my heart is nourished. You may have discovered many more through your own life experiences.
Jesus is the master Nourisher of our whole being. Time and again in the Gospels we hear of Him healing spirits as often as He heals bodies. The gift of Himself in the Eucharist is the pinnacle of nourishment! Our place at the table to receive this unique and irreplaceable food is a blessing beyond measure. Knowing that hearts starve as well as bodies calls us to gratitude for the graces received at Eucharist and challenges us to invite everyone we can to join us in this feast!
-Sister Lori High
Sisters of St. Mary of Namur . 241 Lafayette Avenue . Buffalo, New York 14213 . (716) 884-8221