Feast of the Body and Blood of Christ

Call to worship

Today we celebrate the Feast of the Body and Blood of Christ. We, who eat and drink his body and blood, have a share in eternal life. Christ forever remains with us.

  • To the point: Jesus’ declaration that he is the “bread that came down from heaven” grounds further declaration that those who eat “this bread will live forever.” Jesus is the divine Word made flesh — a flesh and blood now given to us for food and drink so that we live in communion with him. The core of the mystery of Eucharist is that the Son’s self-giving is our eternal life.
  • Connecting the Gospel (John 6: 51-58) to the first reading: The perishable bread God sends from heaven sustains the people who will themselves eventually perish. The promise of the Eucharist is that Jesus feeds us with imperishable food that is his very self so that we remain in him and live forever.
  • Connecting the Gospel to our experience: We take in food for the sake of nourishment and pleasure — we receive sustenance and delight. The food Jesus gives us, however, is for more than sustenance and delight — it is an invitation to receive so that we might give as he does.

Centering prayers

The Gospel

(John 6: 51-58)

Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me and I in him.

Jesus, you pitched your tent among us,
and for an awe-filled time you walked with us.
You did not leave us orphans,
but instead, you stayed, as our
bread and wine, our essential food and drink.
Now we remain in you and you in us.
Please make us your eyes, your ears, your heart.
Guide us through our vast and terrible deserts
today, and let us bring your love to everyone.

The First Reading

(Deuteronomy 8:2-3, 14b-16a)

Do not forget the Lord, your God, who fed you in the desert with manna.

Yesterday amid scorpions and parched ground,
you gave cool water from the rock,
and manna from the empty sky.
Today we need your manna once more.
We have our own serpents
and waterless ground. Lord,
give us your body and give us your blood.
Make us one with you as you guide us
through this desert.

The Second Reading

(1 Corinthians 10:16-17)

Because the loaf of bread is one, we, though many, are one body.

One bread, one body, one lord of all.
One cup of blessing, which we bless.
And we, though many,
throughout the Earth, we are one body
in this one  Lord.*

* “One Bread, One Body” by John Foley

Copyright © 2023, Anne M. Osdieck

Music for reflection