The WORD in Other Words by Fr Oscar Alunday SVD (Philippines)
Corpus Christi Sunday, Gn 14:18–20, 1 Cor 11:23–26, Lk 9:11b–17
“Halika pagbahaginan natin ang tinapay na aala ko — (Come let‘s share the bread which I brought). The attitude of sharing is a built—in element of Filipino culture: sharing food and drinks, sharing a fare, sharing a room (twin sharing), sharing many things together with someone else and with friends. Come to think of it — this 1s a Eucharistic mentality, the spirit of sharing. This is the implication of regularly attending Holy Mass. One becomes a Eucharistic person. A Corpus Christ1 — the body of Christ. One becomes the bread that she/he receives.
The book of Genesis in the first reading reminds us of the beginning of tithing — Abraham giving “a tenth of everything” after Melchisedech blessed Abram. Multiply ten times “one tenth of everything” and one gets a hundred percent. Thus tithing allows the giver to grow into generosity hundred percent. Constant generous giving is life—giving.
In the second reading, St Paul deepens our understanding of the spirituality of the Holy Eucharist. He is retelling the one hundred percent generosity of Jesus — the total giving of his “body and blood.” We will understand even better in the gospel how Jesus gives himself totally. He asked the disciples to let the people relax into groups of fifty. Dividing 5,000 people into 50 groups make 100 people per group. In the same manner Jesus takes the bread and looks up to heaven in prayer and blessing, breaks the bread and gives it to the disciples to distribute to the people. Anyone who receives the body of Christ in Holy Communion undergoes the same process of “being taken and being blessed, being broken and given” as bread and life to people.
As we celebrate the solemnity of Corpus Christi, we become the body of Christ “taken and blessed, broken and given.”