The story of the conversion of Saul caps the week’s tumultuous coverage of the early Christian community after the martyrdom of Stephen. The voice that confronted Saul said, “I am Jesus, and you are persecuting me.” This declaration identifies Jesus’ own person with the members that make up his mystical body, the church. As far as Jesus is concerned, they are one and the same.
The passage we would have read from John’s Bread of Life discourse would then link the Eucharist we celebrate around the Table with the person of Jesus himself. “For my Flesh is true food, and my Blood is true drink.” So following the rules of logical inference, Jesus would identify his Flesh and Blood, declaring them to be true food and drink, with the members of his mystical body, the church. It is more than an academic exercise. It has real-life implications. We need to evaluate how our manner of treating and honoring the Most Holy Body and Blood of the Lord Jesus at the Eucharistic Table should find expression in our manner of treating and honoring the members of his mystical body, the church. We cannot in conscience bow deeply and reverently toward the Blessed Sacrament while we disregard the unjust and oppressive treatment of our sisters and brothers.
In the gospel proper to the memorial of St. Joseph the worker, we hear how Jesus is referred to as the son of a carpenter. It reminds us of his connection to his specific human family, and by extension, to the entire human family, including you and me. We are both members of his body and members of his family. May we be eager, willing, and joyful bearers of the Good News of Jesus risen from the dead to all the world in our words and actions.
Today’s mass was offered for the repose of +Tom Howen.
Rolo B Castillo © 2020