Throughout the Easter season – Jesus was busy feeding us and satisfying our deepest longings. . .
Jesus appeared to the disciples who were locked behind closed doors on the 2nd Sunday of Easter – and he offered his gift of peace: to satisfy their longing, and ours -- for security and freedom from fear. Something we can really use these days as much as the Israelites needed God’s guidance and protection --dodging the serpents and the scorpions in the vast and terrible desert.
On the 3rd Sunday of Easter – Jesus met two disciples on the road to Emmaus – he sat down at table with them and broke bread –
to satisfy their longing, and ours, of having their hearts burn within them with the presence of the risen Lord – in word and in sacrament.
Jesus then told his sheep, that he, himself, becomes the gatekeeper – protecting all of us from harm and satisfying the need to be led in the right direction and to have life – and have it more abundantly.
For Thomas, and the other disciples – including us – Jesus proclaimed he is the way, the truth, and the life – satisfying the hunger for a way to the Father and to the Father’s house that has a room prepared for each one of us.
For anyone who feels alone, unloved, or uncared for – Jesus offers the gift of an Advocate to satisfy the hunger for companionship, help, and a sense of direction.
And then Jesus gave his followers the great commission on the feast of the Ascension: to baptize all in the name of the father, the son, and the holy spirit – satisfying the hunger for mission and a purpose.
And then Jesus did send that gift of the Advocate, a helper, the Holy Spirit to empower all his followers to be his hands and feet in a world which desperately needs his compassionate presence.
All good gifts – given freely and abundantly –
But, surprisingly, there were and are those who would rather remain hungry and unsatisfied –who refused the offer of Jesus to be fed.
There were the scribes and Pharisees to whom Jesus offered not just once, but many times –the bread of conversion or change – but they refused to eat even a crumb of it.
There were the people in his beloved city of Jerusalem to whom, with tears in his eyes, Jesus offered the bread of peace, but they refused it with the result that their city was eventually destroyed.
There was Pilate to whom Jesus offered the bread of truth, but Pilate had no appetite for it because it meant putting his position, and his reputation, at risk.
Jesus shared himself with others in many different ways, and under many different forms – long before offering himself to them as food and drink at the Last Supper.
Jesus nourishes us in these same ways, and of course ESPECIALLY nourishes us in the Eucharist.
The real presence of Christ in the Eucharist only becomes a problem when we have lost our sense of his presence in all those other ways he chooses to come to us –
Those who have a deep sense of the presence of God in the whole of creation – will not have great difficulty in believing that Christ is present in a very special way in the Eucharist: where the bread we break allows us to become the very Body of Christ.
God alone can satisfy all the longings and hungers and thirsts and desires of our hearts – because God alone can give us the bread of eternal life.
This is the bread we receive in the Eucharist. Without it -- we would not have the desire, strength, or stamina to follow after Christ. So let us receive this gift with open hands and hearts which Jesus gives us today: the one loaf that allows us to become one body.
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