The aroma of bread freshly baked very comforting. It is a smell that always makes people feel somehow at home.
It stirs a primal craving tapped by the sense of smell and a natural response is unleashed: Desire. Hunger. Anticipated delight.
This desire, hunger and anticipated delight can also be experienced on a spiritual level. When we share together in the cup of blessing and the breaking of bread, we as Christians celebrate our communion with the body of Jesus broken on the cross and his blood poured out for us. In our liturgical celebrations, our ‘remembering’ makes present, the MYSTERY OF ENCOUNTER WITH LOVE INCARNATE.
This feast reminds us that it is not merely our physical desire, hunger or anticipated delight that is significant but God’s desire, hunger and anticipated delight to love, nourish and be present within us. What is important is that God provides the nourishment when we cannot do so ourselves.
In other words, there is a desire, a hunger, a delight that only God can satisfy. Still, the question must be asked: do we really experience a desire, hunger and delight? Have we ever known a primal craving for God?
Moses understands that we need God’s word as much as we need food; Jesus announces that we must feed on his body and blood if we would have life; Paul proclaims that when we partake of the one loaf, we are intimately joined to one another. We need faith to experience the genuine craving for fulfillment; only faith can help us recognize what will satisfy that craving. At the heart of the mystery that we celebrate today is the fundamental mystery of God’s love for us. We have been created with a craving for God. As St. Augustine said, “Our hearts are restless, until they rest in you.”
Read today’s sequence which expresses succinctly our deep beliefs.
Adapted from writings by Fr. John R. Donahue and Sr Dianne Bergant, C.S.A.