Sunday Reflection – 28 July – Seventeenth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year C, Gospel: Luke 11:1–13
Become the bread of Christ
St Bernard (1090-1153) Doctor of the Church
Saint Bernard teaches that it is not enough for us to take and eat the Bread from Heaven.
We must also offer ourselves to be eaten.
Holy Communion is a wondrous exchange in which we become the bread of Christ.
Listen to Saint Bernard:
“My penitence, my salvation are His food.
I myself am His food.
I am chewed. as I am reproved by Him;
I am swallowed by Him. as I am taught;
I am digested by Him. as I am changed;
I am assimilated. as I am transformed;
I am made one with Him, as I am conformed to Him.
He feeds upon us and is fed by us,
that we may be the more loosely bound to Him.”
Saint Bernard, ever the poet, uses images of eating and assimilation to describe how Christ unites us to Himself.
Our Lord becomes our food that we might become His.
We need the language of poets and preachers in our approach to the Eucharist.
Saint Bernard says, “Christ eats me that He may have me in Himself and Christ, in turn, is eaten by me, that He may be in me and the bond between us, will be strong and the union complete.”
What awaits you in Holy Communion exceeds all that you can desire. Eat, then and offer yourself to be eaten. Receive the Bread of God and become the bread of God.