Welcome to Green Reflections, the blog dedicated to reflections on the readings from the Roman Catholic Sunday Lectionary, with particular sensitivity to the needs of the earth. Use this blog to deepen your own awareness of our Creator's desires for the planet and ways that we can appreciate God's goals for the earth,giving it the loving care that it deserves.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

June 26, 2011 – Body & Blood of Christ Feast

Dt 8:2-3, 14-16 1 Cor 10:16-17 Jn 6:51-59

This reflection is part of an ongoing series of conversations between 2nd century catechumen, Respecta, and her teacher, Petras.
“I get it, really, I do,” Respecta told Petras. “Jesus is really present in His risen body, blood, soul and divinity in the Holy Eucharist. I don’t know how He does that, but I believe it is true.”

“Then you have understood what we hold to be true about this sacrament in the Church. There is more to it than that, though. You see, Respecta, there is a deep mystery present when Jesus talked about being the Living Bread. Consider what happens when we prepare a meal and eat it. Whenever we sit down to eat, the food and drink that we take in is digested and used to build muscles and bone, repair damaged tissues and make the blood that flows through out veins. We don’t know how it happens, but the food is transformed into the elements that make us human beings. Food gives its life to us so that we may be healthy and strong.”

“Yes, I see that, Petras.”

“The Eucharist is like that. When we pray over the bread and wine that become our Risen Lord, its purpose is to be eaten and drunk like ordinary food. However, what happens after that depends a lot on us. We know that Jesus gave His life for us so that we might be redeemed when He died on the cross. In the Eucharist, He gives us Himself so that we can be spiritually nourished and transformed. You see, Respecta, the Holy Food of the Eucharist can transform us. When we receive the sacred gift of Christ and when we are open to His action in us, then Jesus is able to transform our hearts and our minds so that we are more like Himself. He takes our limitations and mortality and transforms them so that we can love as He does, so that we can be compassionate with others just like He is. When we ask Him to do it, Jesus is able to transform our minds so that we see the world and those who live on it as God sees it. When we allow the Eucharistic Christ to transform us, then we can become…how shall I say this? We can become little christs in the world bringing the good news of salvation to others. We can help reconcile others to God and be a blessing for everyone. When we permit God to transform us, then we become the Body of Christ living in the world, each of us doing our part so that the Good News reaches the ends of the earth.”

“That is amazing, Petras! I was thinking that the Eucharistic Lord gave us His strength to live out gospel teaching and values wherever we find ourselves. But what you’re saying is that we can be the presence of Christ to others when we allow Him to transform us to be like Himself. I am not simply “Respecta” when I receive Communion. I am “Respecta-Christ” who is anointed like Jesus was to bring the love of God to others.”

“I’m glad that you put it that way, Respecta. Even when we are transformed by Christ, we always remain ourselves. At the same time, with our hearts and minds transformed, we are also Christ active in the world today. It’s a both-myself-and-Christ presence. Now think what would happen if every Christian opened his or her life to the transforming grace of Christ. Then He is able to teach and heal and feed the deepest human hungers through us. That is part of what it means for us to be the Body of Christ, the Church. The Church doesn’t exist simply so that we can be saved by Christ, it also exists so that we become His saving presence for others. It is not enough to hear the Word of God in order to know the heart of God. People need to experience God’s love through us in order to make sense of the Gospel.”

“Of course! Otherwise, Christianity simply would be a philosophy with no way to move people’s hearts. I understand now, Petras. Since my baptism, I have been relishing and treasuring the gift of faith and the richness of the Christian life. I admit that in some ways I’ve been like a child who has received a gift and have not shared it adequately with others. I suspect that Jesus is inviting me to take on an adult role by living the Christian life fully so that others may be attracted to Christ and receive the same gift. If I live out my Christian faith in love, then others may see me and want to know what brings me such happiness that I’m willing to serve others. They may wonder why I live at such peace in a troubled world and want to have the same kind of peace. It seems like Jesus is really counting on us to make His love visible.”

“Yes, indeed, Respecta. Once I heard it put this way: ‘Christ has no hands or feet but yours.’ It amazes me how much He depends on us to bring others to the Heart of God.”

“Once again, Petras, you’ve given me much to think about. I want to consciously put my faith in Jesus into action so others may share our joy.”

“Good, I’m glad to hear it. Let’s pray for one another this week that we open ourselves to Christ even more so that we may be transformed by His love and the Holy Eucharist.”

Key words

Bible, Scripture, Christian, environment, ecology, lectionary, reflection, homily, sermon, Catholic, green, environmentally friendly, sustainability, the common good, the commons

About Me

The Green Nun earned an MA in theology from the Jesuit School of Theology, Berkeley and is currently completing a Masters degree in Earth Literacy from St. Mary-of-the-Woods College in Indiana. This blog spot is being done as an integration project for the MA.