As noted in today’s Gospel reading, our central role in honoring Christ should be one of service. Jesus commands us to “Give them some food yourselves.” CCC 1335 of the Catechism reads “The miracles of the multiplication of the loaves, when the Lord says the blessing, breaks and distributes the loaves through his disciples to feed the multitude, prefigure the superabundance of this unique bread of his Eucharist.” It is such a great visual, to partake in the miracle where Jesus took ordinary food and turned it into something extraordinary! Yet this was a foreshadowing that something much greater was to come.
When asked the most quoted verse in all the Bible, we turn to “This is my body that is for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” This is a verse we hear every time we celebrate in the most Holy Mass. It is a statement that is so well known, and yet, so difficult for so many to understand. Is there any dogma more central to that of Catholicism than recognizing that Jesus Christ is truly present in the Holy Eucharist? It is for this reason that attending Mass is so sacred.
Like many, I struggled through the pandemic with being physically removed from the ability to receive Communion. In fact I am still struggling as of now, as services available on the TV which can be watched without the preparation of getting up and out to Mass remain available. Yet reading through today’s readings, I must be moved to remember the central essence of being Catholic, that whether a priest or a layperson, we are called to be part of the family of Christ, which can be best exemplified by being together in unity at Church and receiving Christ within us, so that we too can be his disciples and spread His message of love and redemption to all the world.
Dr. Alexis Dallara-Marsh is a board-certified neurologist who practices in Bergen County, NJ. She is a wife to her best friend, Akeem, and a mother of two little ones on Earth and two others in heaven above.
Feature Image Credit: Santiago Mejía LC, www.cathopic.com/photo/10013-esperanza-mia