Weekly Missionary Reflection
Sunday, 19 June 2022
Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ
Gen. 14:18-20; Ps. 110:1,2,3,4; 1Cor. 11:23-26; Luke 9:11b-17
It is not a coincidence that the Gospel of Luke is often called the “social Gospel”. In this gospel, we will find a lot of pericopes talking about social, economic, and political issues. It is the aspect of socio-economy that the Church is emphasizing today, as we celebrate Corpus Cristi, the feast inaugurated by Pope Urban IV on 10 August 1264.
First, Jesus not only preached about the Kingdom of God, but He also healed and gave food. Jesus presented God’s Kingdom by teaching and healing (v. 11). He enlighted and cured people in one whole day. He attracted many people, not for the sake of fame and position, but to enable them to understand the Father’s will, and to cure the sick. At the end of the day, He even gave them food and they were satisfied. The authentic preaching of the Gospel always contains a socio-economic dimension: curing people from any kind of sickness and satisfying them from any famine and thirst.
Second, Jesus continued the wish and hope of the Old Testament. In the wilderness, Moses divided the Israelites into groups of 1000, 100, and 50 (Exo. 18:21,25; Deu. 1:15). God gave manna to His people through Moses. The ministry of Jesus fulfilled the work of Moses. His audience were divided into group of 50. Jesus gave them food in the deserted place too. Jesus fulfilled the Israelites’ hope for the miracle of manna. The time of salvation expected by the Israelites eventually came, when Jesus gave food to the crowds.
Third, Jesus did not work alone. He involved His disciples. Before thousand of hungry crowds, the disciples’ solution was a realistic one: just dismiss them and let them find food on their own! Jesus’ reply was shocking. Instead of giving suggestions, He gave a strict commandment: “You must give them food yourselves!” (v. 13). The prophet Elisha commanded the same thing to his servant, to give the loaves to 100 people (cf. 2Kings 4:42-44). The miracle made by Jesus was much greater than Elisha, 5 loaves for 5000 people! He is much more powerful than any prophet.
The disciples of Jesus, from the past to the present, always look at the “limitation”: only 5 loaves and 2 fish. It could not be enough for such a big crowd! We always think that we are not able to help. Today Jesus affirms: give what you have, what you can afford, whatever it is! Jesus’s prayer and blessing will change and multiply what we surrender to Him. Just like His disciples in the past, we will also be involved to share the “loaves and fish” to feed and satisfy the thousands even millions of people, who are tired, thirsty, and hungry. The Eucharist must always encourage us to share. The Mass is not a ritual, but social and communal: encouraging us to share and live in solidarity. That is the timeless message of the Eucharist. After being spiritually satisfied by the body and blood of the Lord, we should not neglect to carry on His commandment: “You must give them food!” (v. 13). Sharing Jesus’s body always means sharing and giving food to His people!
(Hortensius Mandaru – Indonesia Bible Society)
DAILY DEDICATED PRAYER
Lord, our Father, I present my today prayer, thought, word, work, joy, and sorrow in the unity with Your Son, Jesus Christ, who always presents Himself in the Eucharist for the salvation of the world. May the Holy Spirit animating Jesus, also be my guidance and strength today so that I am ready to be the witness of Your love.
Together with St. Mary, Mother of Jesus, and the Church, in particular, I present my prayer for our Pope and apostle prayer of the Indonesian Church of this month:
For Universal Churches: For the love of Christian families
We pray for Christian families throughout the world. May they have and experience unconditional love and prioritize the holiness in their daily lives.
For Indonesian Churches intention: For the critical education
May the education institution and family educate the children to be critical and realistic to any false offers and luxuries from social media.