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Corpus Christi

Both the gospel of John and the Apocalypse picture Jesus as the Lamb of God. It is a powerful image, because Jesus in his perfect sacrifice on Calvary replaced the need for blood sacrifices offered by the people.

In the Apocalypse the “Bride” becomes the wife of the Lamb. It is a beautiful way of expressing the loving union of Christ and his followers who form the church. In today’s gospel, Mark records the first Eucharist, Jesus’ total self-giving on Calvary, which he shared with his friends under the form of bread and wine.

John links the feeding of the five thousand with loaves and fishes with the spiritual feeding of the Body and Blood of Jesus. The crowds followed Jesus because they had been physically fed but, as Jesus said, “you follow me not because you saw signs, but because you ate your fill of the loaves” (John 6:26). What Jesus was offering and still offers is far more of a miracle than the feeding of the five thousand. However, John takes us deeper into the meaning of this gift with the washing of the feet at the Last Supper. This humble gesture, performed by the Lord, was an example of how a eucharistic community should behave. Holy Communion is not just a private encounter between the individual and Jesus, but a community event, the fruits of which should extend far beyond the doors of the church.