There are reflective moments in our lives when we realize that we are looking for something more, that our hearts seem empty, that we yearn for a deeper meaning in our lives. Today’s readings remind us that God alone can satisfy the deepest hungers of our heart.
The Book of Proverbs describes the marvelous banquet that Lady Wisdom prepares for the wise. God’s wisdom accompanies us along our journey through life, keeping us in the right direction, helping us to overcome obstacles. The wise person lives and acts in accord with God’s wisdom, not the world’s.
For St. Paul, Jesus is the incarnate wisdom of God. The Apostle says that God’s wisdom is reflected in the Christian life when we seek the Lord’s will, when we follow the inspirations of the Holy Spirit, when we know how to act prudently and courageously in witness to our faith.
In today’s gospel Jesus tells us that only he can give us the kind of food that will satisfy our deepest hungers. The banquet prepared by Lady Wisdom finds fulfillment in the Sacred Meal where the Risen Lord becomes the living bread, where we eat his flesh and drink his blood, where he promises to abide with us forever. It is this wonderful nourishment that builds up our faith and inspires us to have hope for the future.
However, it is not merely a matter of routinely receiving and swallowing the host or drinking from the chalice. It is not enough to spend a few minutes in prayerful reflection thanking the Lord for the incredible gift of his Body and Blood. Jesus wants to abide within us forever–in our hearts, our minds, our innermost selves. This means that we have to listen to the word of God attentively, allow it to take deep root in our lives, and bear good and abundant fruit.
Having the Risen Lord abide within us requires that we walk in God’s ways, not those of the world. It means that we strive to build up the kingdom of God wherever we are – a kingdom of justice for everyone and peace, mercy and compassion, forgiveness and reconciliation – a place of faith, hope, and love. Taste and see the goodness of the Lord! Drink the Precious Blood and imitate Jesus’ example of selfless and unconditional love!
Fr. Al Spilly, C.PP.S., lives at St. Charles Center in Carthagena, Ohio. He has taught Scripture at both the undergraduate and graduate levels and has given many Bible-based retreats and talks.