The Companion we really need.
Companion is a lovely word. Coming from the Latin roots it means ‘with bread’. A companion is a person with whom we share the events of life, especially the ordinary daily events. When this happens over a length of time, even over a life time, we build up a depth of friendship that can have a profound influence in our lives. From such a friend we get comfort (meaning: with strength) and communion (meaning: with union).
This coming Sunday the church celebrates the Feast of the Body and Blood of Our Lord, the feast of the presence of Jesus in the Bread and the Wine of the Eucharist. He comes to us in this way as he desires to be our companion in life, desiring to share with us his divine life and being close to us in all the events of our lives. If Jesus had come with all the grandeur of God, we would not feel that we could come close to him with our joys, concerns and problems. He comes in this humble way that we might open our lives and our hearts to him. As we let him be our ‘companion’ in life, we will find that he offers us comfort and communion, both with God and with others. If the presence of Jesus is unfamiliar to you, you may wonder how you can do this. Simply begin by letting him know your concerns, speak simply from the heart. Then, most likely in the ordinary events of life, Jesus will come – maybe not in the way you expect – but he will come and be a companion to you.
Loving Father, you showed us the depth of your love in the person of Jesus and he continues to show that love in the Eucharist. Send us your Spirit that we may make Jesus the companion of our life. We ask this in his name confident that you will hear us.
Sr Kym Harris osb
Food for our hunger.
We know so much about healthy eating and yet our society is plagued by the results of unhealthy eating: obesity, anorexia and excessive emphasis on body image. Let’s just consider the issue of body image. People will chose what they eat not according to whether they want or need it but because of how some one else will judge their body at a latter date. This is crazy, but it is also common. Recent studies have shown that people who eat slowly and take time to enjoy what they eat are less likely to be obese. In other words they focus on what they want and need and enjoy that. They do not mindlessly eat food they particularly don’t want or need. A good way to balance our eating habits is to ask “Do I really want or need this?” and if the answer is “Yes” to take the time to enjoy it.
Jesus used food as a sign of our relationship with him. Deep down we hunger for God’s love, yet we pursue experiences and things that we neither want nor need, things that make us unhappy. Jesus so desires to fulfil our true needs and wants that he even offers himself in the Eucharist, his Body and Blood given under the form of Bread and Wine. We need to often stop and ask ourselves about the things we do, “Will this fulfil the deep hunger in my heart?”
Loving Father, you give us bread from heaven – your own Son Jesus. Give us the wisdom of the Spirit to open ourselves to him and fulfil the hunger of our hearts. We ask this in his name, confident that you will hear us.
We tend to judge things not as they are but as we are. Our feelings, our prejudices, even our health can be like coloured glasses that distort how we view life. Most people reading this live most of the time in an abundance that most people in our world can only dream of. Yet do we walk around contented, full of joy at our abundant good luck? I’ll leave you to answer that question.
In the Gospel, Jesus always works with abundance. He turns gallons of water into wine at the Wedding Feast and he multiplies a few scraps of bread into enough for five thousand. Even more amazingly, he makes his agonising death into the sign of his overflowing, relentless love.
This coming Sunday we celebrate the Feast of the Body and Blood of Our Lord. On this day, we strive to appreciate the abundance that we receive when we come to Communion. Yes, in the form of this little piece of bread, this little sip of wine we believe that Jesus comes to us in all his fullness, with all his love. We may well find Mass boring, because ritual often is – that is until you ‘get it’ and one only gets it by moving out of our comfort zone and trying to appreciate the meaning of the words and actions. They are so rich; we struggle to hold them with our minds and hearts. Too much, even though it feels like too little.
We can live abundant lives – no matter the circumstances. We can begin by recognising just what we are given each and every day: the beauty of our children, the countryside in which we live, the food we have. As we recognise, so we praise and when we praise our minds and hearts widen making them even more capable of living abundant lives.
Loving Jesus, let me appreciate the abundance in which I live. As I appreciate may I give generously in love, as you have given to me. I ask this in your name, confident that God will hear me.
Sr Kym Harris osb