FR WILLIAM'S HOMILY
Year B 2021
What do you see when you look at the bread of our Eucharistic table? Visibly, the bread is most noticeable, but spiritually, with the eyes of faith, the Eucharist is more than just what we see. In the Church document Lumen Gentium, we're told that the Eucharist is the source and summit of our Christian life (par. 11).
How do we train our eyes to see such a mystery?
Every time we come to the table of the Eucharist, we're invited into an encounter with God. In our Gospel today, we hear one of the many great I AM statements of the Word. Jesus says to those around him, I AM the bread of life. The I AM statements are the visible manifestations of the divine, a theophany. We see it in the dream of Isaac (Gen 26:24) as well as the famous revelation of God's name to Moses I AM WHO I AM (Exo 3:14).
Friends, hopefully, what we visibly see is Jesus manifest before us. Yet, as we know, sometimes that's not always the case. Some of us see and believe, some believe and do not see, and others do not see and do not believe. We're all at different stages. Belief can even change from day to day.
Wherever you may be on the belief scale, we're still invited to come nonetheless. To come to the table as regularly as you would your dining table because Jesus is the bread of life, for life, not only for Sunday's or special Solemnities but for every day.
Jesus present in the bread is one of the many precious gifts given to us by God. We eat of the I AM in the Eucharist. Although we might find it difficult to believe or receive, we're invited to come anyway because God is phenomenally generous.
We come in our belief or disbelief, we come in our knowledge or ignorance, we come just as we are in this moment. If we desire to train our eyes to see this mystery or the source and summit of our Christian life, we must take the first step and be present. The Eucharist has its own sanctifying and renewing power. When we come to with the hope of meeting the Lord, we will see a new world of possibilities and life.
Our partaking of this bread is a union of heaven and earth because, as Jesus said, we receive true bread from God the Father in heaven. May we come humbly before our God who emptied himself entirely for us. We pray for the gift of faith and awe that we may see the great I AM present in the Body and Blood we receive.