I am the living bread that came down from heaven.John 6:51
Method: Lectio Divina
Commentary from Loyola Press
This Sunday we celebrate a second solemnity during this period of Ordinary Time in the liturgical calendar. Today is the Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ. This day was once called Corpus Christi, which is Latin for “Body of Christ.” In the revised Lectionary the name for this day is expanded to reflect more completely our Eucharistic theology.
Today’s Gospel is taken from the Gospel according to John. The reading is part of a discourse between Jesus and a crowd of Jews. The discourse comes shortly after the miracle of Jesus’ multiplication of the loaves and fishes. In John’s Gospel, miracles such as this are identified as “signs” through which people come to believe that Jesus is the Son of God. These signs are followed by dialogue, or discourse that interprets and explains the miracle. In John’s Gospel, Jesus’ multiplication of the loaves is said to have occurred near Passover, thus linking it to the Exodus story and God’s saving action toward the Israelites.
Having seen Jesus multiply the loaves and fishes, the crowd pursues him, perhaps seeking more food but also looking for another sign. Jesus tells the crowd that he is the bread of life. He explains that just as God gave the Israelites manna to sustain them in the desert, so now God has sent new manna that will give eternal life. It is in this context that Jesus repeats those words in today’s Gospel and tells them again that he is the living bread that came down from heaven.
Jesus’ words are not well understood by the crowd; they argue that Jesus is not from heaven but born of Mary and Joseph. The crowd also has trouble understanding how Jesus could give them his flesh to eat. Jesus tells them that when they eat his flesh and drink his blood, they will remain forever connected to him. These are difficult words, but they are important because they seek to show us our intimate connection with Jesus.
This is the mystery that is at the heart of our Eucharistic theology. In the elements of bread and wine, Jesus’ Body and Blood are truly present. When we share in the Body and Blood of Christ, Jesus himself comes to dwell within us. This communion with the Lord makes us one body, brings us eternal life, and sends us forth to be Christ’s Body in the world. See also the reflection by Louise McEwen in Living with Christ.
Questions for reflection:
- What word or words in this passage caught your attention?
- What comforted you?
- What challenged you?
- What conversion of mind, heart, and life is the Lord asking of me?
- How do I prepare myself to receive the Eucharist?
- What effects does the Eucharist have in my daily life?
- How can I share God’s love with the world?
Other Resources for Lectio Divina of John 6:51-59
- Loyola Press Sunday Connection Year A Corpus Christi Family Faith Suggestions
- Portland Diocese Lectio Divina for the Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ
- Order of the Brothers of the Most Blessed Virgin Mary of Mt. Carmel Holy Trinity
Audio Divina and Video Divina
View the video and answer the reflection questions below.
- What emotions does the song evoke?
- What is the connection between the Gospel and this video?
- Who is God’s body?
- What other images would you include in this video? Why?
- Why do some feel as though they are not part of God’s body?
- How do we help others to feel that they are part of the Body of Christ?
Visio Divina of The Ghent Altarpiece
- Pray in quiet with your eyes closed. Bring yourself towards stillness.
- Gaze at the image. Let your eyes rest on the scene. Note your feelings as you examine the whole and parts of the work.
- Read John 6:51-58
- Gaze at the work again. Imagine that you are in the lower central panel of the scene. What do you see from your vantage point? What you hear? smell? sense?
- How do you connect the passage with the painting?
- Read the commentary below. How does these insights enrich your understanding?
- How is the sacred present to you in this experience?
- How does this Visio Divina relate to your life now?
- What insight from this experience do you want to retain? How will you do that?
- Complete the Visio Divina by offering a prayer of thanksgiving.
Commentary on the Ghent Altarpiece, Lamb for Sinners Slain .
Visio Divina for Children
Introduction: Today is the Feast of the Most Body and Blood of Christ. Jesus is with us in the Mass and this is what we celebrate today. One of the ways people celebrated this day was by walking through the neighbourhood as a parish with the priest holding the Eucharist. in this Feast we celebrate that Jesus is with us on the journey of life. We feel Jesus with us at Church in a special way. In this exploration we are looking for ways that Jesus is with us. Let’s begin by joining him in prayer.
Prayer: Dear Jesus, bless our minds and our eyes today so that we may see you in the middle of our lives. Amen.
Image: Look at this photograph of St. Mary Immaculate Church in Richmond Hill, Ontario.
- Look at the image of the church. Zoom in to see the different parts of the scene.
- How is it similar to your Church?
- Imagine yourself here. How do you know it is a holy place?
- Take time to pray to Jesus that we may find him in different ways in our lives.
- Do you know the game, “I Spy?” In that game we look for something beginning with a letter or colour. Today, we are looking for the different ways we can see Jesus in this photograph. Write them down or tell someone what you see.
Leader: Share with the children some of the ways Jesus can be seen here.
- The tabernacle where we keep the body of Christ
- The Divine Mercy picture
- The Easter candle
- The statue of the risen Christ
- Crosses such as the processional cross and the cross on the altar
- the statue of the crucified Christ
- In the womb of Mary in the stained glass behind the altar
- The books that hold the Word of God
- The statue of the Mary, child Jesus and the saints.
- The act of kindness of the altar server and parishioner on the left
- The praying couple
Ask the children where they see Jesus present in their homes. Answers could include crucifixes, bibles, sacred art, rituals such as prayers, and acts that remind us of Jesus.
Invite children to look at the stained glass window in the picture. Invite children to make a stained glass window. In each panel of the stained window, students draw different ways in which they see Jesus in their lives at church or at home. Use a template such as this.
Conclude by praying: Loving Jesus, thank you for always being with us. May our prayers draw us closer to You. may you bless all of our days. Amen.
Children’s Liturgy Resources
Children’s Liturgy Resources from Loyola Press
CAFOD Resources for 7 June Children’s liturgy for The Most Holy Trinity (Year A)
- The Body and Blood of Christ(Year A) (docx, 79kb)
- The Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ (Year A) illustration (pdf, 889kb)
Liturgy of the Word with Children, Diocese of Auckland The Body and Blood of Christ
The Kids’ Bulletin Body and Blood of Christ explanations and activities
Living With Christ for Children http://www.livingwithchrist.us/wp-content/uploads/2020/06/LWCSM-Y_June-14.pdf