Jn 6: 51-58

I am the living bread that came down from heaven. Whoever eats of this bread will live forever; and the bread that I will give for the life of the world is my flesh.” The Jews then disputed among themselves, saying, “How can this man give us his flesh to eat?” So Jesus said to them, “Very truly, I tell you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you. Those who eat my flesh and drink my blood have eternal life, and I will raise them up on the last day; for my flesh is true food and my blood is true drink.

Those who eat my flesh and drink my blood abide in me, and I in them. Just as the living Father sent me, and I live because of the Father, so whoever eats me will live because of me. This is the bread that came down from heaven, not like that which your ancestors ate, and they died. But the one who eats this bread will live forever.

New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.

We are the Body of Christ

San Lucas Toliman is a very special place in Guatemala’s highlands where so much of the world’s coffee is grown. There La Fiesta de Cuerpo de Cristo is a very special annual event which brings together young and old. The monstrance with the consecrated host is carried in procession to each group of homes as well as to the marketplace, the school, the clinic, the playground. All of these places are blessed, with those who live and work there participating.

Then there is a big fiesta where all the families who make up the “body of Christ” in this small village have a picnic, play games, and sing. Of course each of these families has a story; each experiences the normal tensions and traumas of family and neighborhood life. But it is precisely into the middle of these tensions and traumas, these joys and adventures that Jesus Christ —alive and risen—is welcomed and celebrated.

This special feast reminds each of us that WE are the Body of Christ. We are the living, breathing, thinking, feeling, praying, witnessing, faith-filled, doubt-filled, hope-filled, justice-filled, love-filled Body of Jesus. We are broken and shared…and then sent forth into a thousand corners our world as messengers and menders for others, as tangible signs of God’s presence alive and active in this world. As we believe, so let us live, throughout this summer and beyond.

—The Jesuit Prayer Team


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.

© 1978, John Foley, S.J. and New Dawn Music.