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Corpus Christi 06/11/2023

Corpus Christi

While walking in the cemetery this last week I came across a robin chick fluttering around on the grass. Its tail feathers had not yet grown in and one of its claws was a little deformed and not working properly. I watched to see if another bird came back to feed it. I didn’t see any bird return to help the little thing. Of course, without food the poor little chick won’t survive.

A few years ago, I read a comment by Cardinal Ratzinger. He was reflecting on how parents, even Christian and Catholic parents, consider bringing a child into the world as a gift of life from the parents to the child. However, some of them don’t have their child baptized preferring to wait until the child is mature enough to make his/her own decisions about the practice of religion. The Cardinal reflected on how it seemed to him that if parents were willing to give a child human life without the child’s consent, and they considered that a great gift, how much more the gift of God’s grace, which is God’s life, is an even greater gift that human life. Surely, this is an even greater gift for parents to give to their children – and it is just that – a gift – something we receive not something we take for ourselves.

The Feast of Corpus Christi, the Feast of the Body and Blood of Christ, celebrates the gift of the Eucharist which is God feeding His children with Eternal and Divine Food. It is the Body and Blood of His Son Jesus. It is essential food for the journey. Just as God fed the people of Israel with Manna in the desert for fourth years – food to sustain them on their journey. Now, God feeds us with Bread from Heaven, the New Manna, the Eucharist, to sustain us in our life’s journey.

It is unimaginable to us that parents would bring a child into the world and then fail to feed him/her because we know that without food a child will die. The food God gives us in the Eucharist, in the life of faith, is as essential to the life of a child as is the fruit and water of the earth, in fact, it is more essential, for it feeds the soul, the heart, the spirit, the very character of a child. The gift of God’s grace given as food is the greatest gift of life a parent can give to their child and it is just as essential, if not more, that any other food we receive. We give children the gift of human life and we teach them how to make their way in the world (walk, talk, dress, read, write, feed). The gift of Divine life, God’s life, is an even greater gift and more essential and its ways are also given and taught as a gift and a blessing from parents to their child. We can’t imagine not feeding our children with the food of this world every day. The food of the heavenly world is a food that lasts forever – let’s not fail to give that Sacred Bread to our children also.

Happily, I saw the chick again, she was doing well, flying a little, and another bird was watching over her.

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