One Minute Reflection – 7 January – Second day after Epiphany, Readings: 1 John 4:7-10, Psalm 72:1-4, 7-8, Mark 6:34-44 and the Memorial of St Raymond of Peñafort OP (1175-1275)
And taking the five loaves and the two fish, he looked up to heaven and blessed and broke the loaves and gave them to the disciples to set before the people ... Mark 6:41
REFLECTION – “Christ gave us His flesh to eat in order to deepen our love for Him. When we approach Him, then, there should be burning within us, a fire of love and longing… The wise men paid homage to Christ’s body even when it was lying in a manger… They only saw Christ in a manger, they saw nothing of what you now see and yet they approached Him with profound awe and reverence.
You see Him, not in a manger but on an altar, not carried by a woman but offered by a priest and you see the Spirit bountifully poured out upon the offerings of bread and wine. Unlike the wise men, you do not merely see Christ’s body, you know His power as well and the whole divine plan for our salvation… Let us then awaken in ourselves a feeling of awe and let us show a far greater reverence than did those foreigners so that we do not approach this sacrament casually, without thinking of what we do…
This food strengthens us, it emboldens us to speak freely to our God, it is our hope, our salvation, our light and our life.
If we go to the next world fortified by this sacrifice, we shall enter its sacred portals with perfect confidence, as though protected all over, by armour of gold. But why do I speak of the next world? Because of this sacrament earth becomes heaven for you. Throw open the gates of heaven, look through and you will see the proof of what I say. What is heaven’s most precious possession? I will show you it here on earth. I do not show you angels or archangels, heaven or the heaven of heavens but I show you the very Lord of all these. Do you not see how you gaze, here on earth, upon what is most precious of all? You not only gaze on it but touch it as well. You not only touch it but eat it. So cleanse your soul from sin and prepare your mind to receive these mysteries.” … St John Chrysostom (345-407) Bishop of Constantinople, Father and Doctor of the Church
PRAYER – Almighty God, our Father, when Your only-begotten Son revealed Himself in flesh and blood, we came to know Him as our fellow-man . Now He feeds us by His mysteries and cleanses us by His Blood to transform us inwardly, until we bear His likeness. As You inspired St Raymond of Peñafort with an immense compassion for sinners and captives, grant us, through his prayer, freedom from sin and the grace to do Your will. Through our Lord, Jesus Christ, with the Holy Spirit, one God forever with You, amen.