19th Sunday in Ordinary Time
1 Kgs 19:4-8
“I am the living bread which has come down from heaven”
In Chinese culture, it is common to greet one another with the question, “Have you eaten?” in place of “How are you?” It may appear odd for those new to this customary greeting. But in that one simple question, it encompasses a deeper meaning of care and concern for the welfare of the other.
Food nourishes us — the love and attention put into preparing a meal displays affection and care; it brings family and communities together. It provides energy so that we can carry on with our work and activities. In the first reading, Elijah was almost on the brink of death, but God provided him with food so that, strengthened by it, he could walk for forty days and forty nights to reach his destination.
If earthly food has this ability to nourish us physically and emotionally, what more then will the heavenly food that Jesus provides? It is a simple and yet profound act of sacrifice by our Lord Jesus.
In today’s world, superfoods are the rage and talk of the town; advocates will expound all the health benefits of these superfoods, and it got me thinking — are we advocates of the Eucharist?
The Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC) outlines the following ‘health’ benefits. The Eucharist…
- Maintains and increases intimate union with Christ. (cf. CCC 1325, 1391)
- Reinforces the unity of the Church as the Mystical Body of Christ (cf. CCC 1396, 1398)
- Removes venial sins and increases charity toward God and neighbour (cf. CCC 1394)
- Strengthens the recipient from grave sins (cf. CCC 1395)
- Decreases temporal punishment due to sin (cf. CCC 1414)
- Helps the recipient to avoid temptation and control concupiscence (cf. CCC 1393)
Jesus gave us His own body and blood in order that we may be nourished spiritually. The Ultimate SuperFood that heals, that saves, that shows how much He loves us. So that we may “imitate God as children of his that he loves”!
(Today’s OXYGEN by Lorraine Wong)
Prayer: Heavenly Father, O how much we yearn to receive Christ in the Eucharist! We look forward to the day we can partake in the Eucharist like before the pandemic, but for now Lord, acknowledge our longings and grant us the graces we desire.
Thanksgiving: Dear Lord Jesus, we praise and thank you for giving yourself up in our place as a fragrant offering to God. For being our Ultimate Superfood!