Monday, January 28, 2013

Jesus, Squared

During the offertory at Mass yesterday - when members of the congregation brought forward the bread, wine, and water to be offered in the Eucharistic Prayer - I was reminded of the Gospel accounts of the multiplication of the loaves.  I am sure you recall how a boy present among the hungry crowd had thought to bring along five barley loaves and a couple of fish (Jn.6:9; Mt.14:17), which he offered to Jesus and the Apostles.  Jesus took the boy's offering, blessed it, broke it, and gave it to the apostles to distribute to the crowd of 5,000 plus.  Miraculously, not only did they have enough to feed the hungry throng, but they collected twelve baskets full of leftovers.

In an earlier post I shared how the same four verbs (italicized above) used by the evangelists to narrate Jesus actions in the multiplication of the loaves (Mt.14:19), are exactly the same verbs used to narrate His actions at the Last Supper, when He established the Eucharist (Mt.14:26).  Yesterday however I glimpsed a different connection between the two:  Jesus takes the bread and wine we offer Him at Mass and uses them to perform different kind of miraculous multiplication - multiplying not the quantity of bread and wine, but His presence. Wherever a crumb of the consecrated Host is present, Jesus' whole Body  is present, and with It His Blood, Soul, and Divinity.  Exactly the same is true for a drop of His Blood - with It comes His Body, Soul, and Divinity - the whole Christ!  And as each of us receive Him in Eucharistic communion, His sacramental presence is multiplied throughout the sanctuary!

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