COR THOUGHTS 266: The Wedding Supper of the Lamb

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“Living bread”? What does that mean? A bread that if we eat it we will never die? Really? A man who claims he is this bread? What!? That’s what we hear in this Sunday’s Gospel reading. How can our measly little brains possibly comprehend the mystery of the Eucharist? St. John Paul II, along with an entire tradition of mystic-saints, told us that the mystery opens up when we understand the Eucharist as “the sacrament of the Bridegroom and of the Bride” (Mulieris Dignitatem 26). There is a marriage that leads to earthly life, consummated when husband and wife become “one flesh.” And there is a marriage that leads to eternal life, consummated in the Eucharist. I never met my father-in-law; he died when my wife was a girl. But I admire him tremendously because of this story. At Mass the day after his wedding, having consummated his marriage the night before, he was in tears as he came back to the pew after receiving the Eucharist. When his new bride inquired, he said, “For the first time in my life I understood the meaning of those words, ‘This is my body given for you.’” Lord Jesus, teach us how to take our deepest yearnings for life and love and union to the Wedding Supper of the Lamb. Amen.