Fr Thomas’ Reflection for the 18th Sunday in Ordinary Time

The Healthy Food that Makes You Live Forever

Just any food on the table is not good enough. We need to eat healthy food. Sometimes it is a challenge.  Now in this lockdown, people are choosing to cook more healthy meals, thanks to health awareness; with some it even could be fitness fanaticism.

In the Gospel of John (6:24-35) there is a story of the people who, after eating to their satisfaction, went looking for Jesus in his home at Capernaum. Jesus told them, ‘you are happy because I gave you plenty to eat. Now I can tell you about healthy eating and it is a God given gift.’ In the mind of the people the food that was a gift from God was manna. They told Jesus, ‘you know “our fathers had manna to eat in the desert; as Scripture says: He gave them bread from heaven to eat”. Jesus said, “It was not Moses who gave you bread from heaven, it is my father who gives you bread from heaven”. Have you noticed the grammatical error there? It was not Moses who gave – (past tense); but it is God who gives (present tense). It is not an error; it is deliberate. Though manna is history, God continues to feed us. We are not interested in the past story here. Our God is feeding us with special and healthy food in the present time. That is what Jesus spoke about. The food that Jesus is offering interests us. The food that makes your life and mine really healthy is the Eucharist, the Body of Christ. We become what we eat. By eating the Body of Christ, you and I become the Body of Christ. A body that will bring about all that is good and healthy in life – joy, peace, compassion, hope, and freedom to enjoy human and divine company. To make the best of our life we need to count more than calories, or the sugar and fat content of what we eat. The Body of Christ is the food that can make our life really healthy now and keep it healthy always, even after death. In this lockdown time you may be realising how much you are missing the Eucharist, the Holy Communion. But it is creating a greater hunger for the Eucharistic food. A time will come we will be celebrating the Eucharist with much renewed enthusiasm.