Faith and Justice

Tasting the Future: the Eucharist

"Is it t possible to actually drag the future into the present?

Our Lord Jesus Christ certainly believed so and did so with meals.

One of the Jewish symbols of Heaven was a great banquet - a wonderful feast.

And Our Lord would every so often, and sometimes with greater emphasis than at other times, host a meal which anticipated the future, a wonderful future, a meal which promised 'There will be fulfilment in the future', and actually brought that future into the present.

He was, He is, Master of the Universe of space and time. For Him, through Him, it was possible to bring the life of Heaven and the end of history into the present.

Today's gospel is one of those anticipatory sharings in the banquet of the age to come.

We say this feeding is miraculous, and a major part of the miracle is in the transformation of the Twelve.

Our Lord did not personally feed the five thousand. He required his followers to get involved in alleviating hunger: 'You give them something to eat.'

And, when they shared the food he had blessed, the miracle of the hospitality of God was multiplied throughout the crowd - extravagantly.

So, this became one of the well-remembered occurrences where Our Lord, having in mind the symbolism of the heavenly banquet, anticipated the future, a wonderful future.

He gave his followers and the crowd a real taste of that future generosity of God towards humankind.

But, it would not have happened had the inner groups of disciples not shared Jesus' vision and got involved in what seemed to be an impossible task.

The Last Supper was the greatest anticipatory meal which Our Lord shared with his disciples.

And, at Mass, after invoking the Holy Spirit and using the words of Jesus at that supper, we have a real sharing in the future.

Because of the Resurrection, Our Lord already lives the life of future glory which God deeply desires for you and for me.

When we eat the heavenly bread and drink the spiritual drink, we are eating and drinking that life of the future, the life of the Risen Lord in glory, the glorified humanity of our Risen Lord Jesus Christ.

We really taste that future every time we share in Holy Communion, in which paradoxically, Our Lord is both host and food!

And then? And then we must do as the Twelve were directed to do. We must go to alleviate the hunger of the world - the hungers of the world: 'You give them something to eat!'"

© Fr Michael Tate

The above is from a homily by Fr Michael Tate, and used here with his kind permission.

Community Mass

In our College community this weekend is particularly significant for two groups of students. At this morning's Community Mass a group of Year 12 students was commissioned as Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion. Since Easter they have been attending lunchtime sessions in order to complete the CEOWA training. They are commissioned in the College for this year - and will hopefully have the opportunity in their parishes after they graduate. The College community is blessed to have such a fine group of Student Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion who are willing to take on this ministry, and we look forward to their service at Friday Community Masses and other College Masses.

To coincide with the feast of Corpus Christi, a number of students in Year 4 are making their First Holy Communion around this time. We remember those students and their families as they prepare for this celebration of the sacrament in their own parish - having been prepared by their Year Four teachers. (Next week we will publish their names.) Let us think of these students in our own parish celebration of the Eucharist this weekend.