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“All You Can Eat” By Kristen Gawlik, Fiat Ventures

All You Can Eat

By: Kristen Gawlik, Fiat Ventures

The Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ

When I think about every holiday, be it religious or secular, a big part of each of them revolves around food.  It’s impossible to talk about Thanksgiving without reminiscing on how full you feel after your family’s feast.  Endless amounts of cookies surround us for weeks before and after Christmas.  And is it really the Fourth of July if you don’t have hamburgers and hot dogs?

We don’t even have to limit this to holidays.  All cultures have their signature dishes, and I’m sure all of us have certain foods that make us feel nostalgic.  The truth is, food holds a great importance in our lives not only because it satisfies our bodies, but because it also has the ability to gather families, communities, and cultures.  (Is anyone else hungry yet?)

Today we celebrate the Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ, otherwise known as the Feast of Corpus Christi (no, this isn’t a day solely devoted to a Texan City).  On this day, villages, towns, and cities all over the world honor the Eucharist in a special way—in many places, Eucharistic processions are held, with the priest carrying the Blessed Sacrament all through the streets for everyone to see. It really is a special day!

I started off by talking about food and how central food is to our humanity.  As the one who created us, God clearly knows better than any of us how vital food is.  Isn’t it far more than a coincidence, then, that Jesus would take on the form of bread and wine that we might be satisfied?

Our families and cultures provide us with foods that, though we can live without them, we would rather not.  I know that, for me, when I was living outside of the state of New Jersey for awhile, I would countdown the days until I got home and could finally have (real) pizza again.  Without fail, the first bite taken would bring such happiness.

If Jersey’s pizza can bring me happiness, how much more can Jesus do in the Eucharist?  We have a God that loves us so much that He’s willing to take on bread and wine that we might be satisfied, that we might be filled.  We have a God who, knowing we need to be fed has chosen to become food for our soul.

We may have foods that we love, like pizza in New Jersey or Grandma’s mashed potatoes on Thanksgiving.  Sometimes a great slice of pizza outside of New Jersey, or mashed potatoes on a day other than Thanksgiving doesn’t quite cut it.  The reality is that, when we receive the Eucharist, our longing for Heaven should all the more increase!  Even cooler, though, is that when we receive the Body and Blood of Jesus, we are able to experience Heaven on Earth.  As Catholics, we believe that the ultimate goal of our lives is to become saints, to live forever in Heaven with Jesus.  Not only should this be our goal, but Jesus wants us to be in Heaven with Him!  In fact, He wants this so much for us that, not only was He willing to sacrifice His life for us, but He was willing to humble Himself enough that we might be able to encounter Him every day in the Eucharist if we want to!  Like my good, Italian mother who always has my favorite meal ready for me when I come to visit, Jesus is waiting for us with exactly what our hearts yearn for—He is waiting to give us Himself.

Our God wants to fill us.  Not only does He want us to be fulfilled in Heaven, but He wants us to be filled with Him today.  On this day, we celebrate, in a special way, the Body and Blood of Jesus.  May this Heavenly Banquet be the feast our soul longs for each and every day.  Amen.

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