“Con hambre no hay mal pan.” An old Spanish saying which means, “When you’re hungry there is no bad food.” The folks who were following Jesus were hungry and no body had thought about food for the journey.
Five loaves and two fish Jesus fed more than five thousand people. “Impossible!”, some might say. Not for God. With Jesus all things are possible. Notice, however, that the people did not receive the Eucharist. Jesus did not give them Holy Communion. They ate bread and fish. Some Scripture scholars identify the passage of the multiplication of the loaves and the fish as a precursor of the Eucharistic Supper, but not the same. Putting food on the table, providing basic needs for our family is important. However, some forget about the most important food—the Body and Blood of Christ, especially during the summer. We shift into vacation mode. School’s out, got a few weeks off, a little exta money to blow—“we’re off.” If the weekend happens during vacation, what about Holy Mass? What about the Bread that gives us life? Imagine going without eating or drinking even for one day. The majority of us would collapse. Yet, our soul also needs nourishment, otherwise we starve spiritually. That’s why the Church places a requirement of obligation to celebrate Holy Mass at least on the weekend—bare minimum. Missing Holy Mass on the weekend, if done deliberately, falls in the category of serious sin. Because we are committing spiritual suicide. The obligation is for our sake. We neither add nor subtract anything from God. Staying away from the Eucharist damages us inside. If we are ill, no problem, if we can’t find a church, no problem, but if we just say, “I’m just going to stay home because Msgr. gets more boring every day.” That’s not a valid reason. Obviously we cannot base our participation on feelings. There are times when we are spiritually on fire and other times when there’s not even a spark.
Feelings come and go and they are neither good nor bad. Some discipline is required in remaining faithful to God and to the community. The essence of who we are and the most important activity of what we do happens on the weekend. Celebrating Holy Mass and receiving the Body and Blood of Christ identifies us as Catholic. The Eucharist is who we are and there is nothing—no other miracle, revelation, or saint who is more important than the Eucharist.
Weather the consecrated host is at the highest altar in Rome or placed in a monstrance full of precious stones or in our hands at Holy Communion—the Eucharist is the same. As the Holy Father consecrates and Christ becomes truly present in the Blessed Sacrament so He is present for the newly ordained priest at his first Mass—one Mass just as powerful, just as holy, just as real as the other. Regardless of who gives us Holy Communion—Our Lord Jesus Christ is the One who comes to us. We might be tempted to be envious of the five thousand people who ate the loaves and the fish. Yet, now that those souls are in heaven and can see what we receive, they are envious of us. Indeed we possess the food which nourishes our soul unto eternal life. Better said, we are possessed by the Eucharistic food. Means we have to leave the “old self” behind. Get rid of all bitterness. Stop our judgment of others. The Eucharist can transform us when we surrender our will to God’s will. The Lord wants to fill us with His mercy. At every Holy Mass He offers Himself to us completely, knowing that we are unworthy, that we will continue to fall, that we can never deserve Him—Jesus Christ chooses us as His Disciples.
Our vocation is to feed others who do not know Him, who do not come to Mass, who are ignorant of the treasure given to humanity in the Eucharist. He gives Himself to us so that we can share Him with others.