This morning’s readings move through what I have learned to call “salvation history” beginning with the story of God’s gift of “manna” in the desert – the bread that sustained the Israelites as they wandered toward the Promised Land. In the Christian Scriptures, Jesus speaks of himself in John’s gospel as the “bread that has come down from heaven” that will lead us to life. We become, we are told, the true, mystical body of Christ. This is truly a mystery and in our day we are coming to see new and deeper meanings that derive from this truth. Christians speak of the “communion of the body of Christ” celebrated in the ritual of Eucharist and see that communion in the bread and wine that we share in the living memory (anamnesis) of what Jesus did at what we call “the Last Supper” before his death and resurrection. The unity of his body is becoming clearer as we join with others across the Christian spectrum for ecumenical dialog. We find that what joins us is so much more than what separates us so that while we reverence our own tradition, we embrace those all over the world whom we are coming to know as brothers and sisters. It is this sense of unity that impels us further to interfaith dialog where we find the possibility of understanding even beyond the borders of Christianity toward the hope of unity that recognizes all those who journey toward God (however we envision or name God) as our companions.
On this feast of Corpus Christi (the Body of Christ) then, let us pray for one world, a unity of hearts yearning for peace and fellowship that we trust to be possible if we will widen our hearts in the unified embrace of God.