I Corinthians 11: 23-26; Luke 9: 11-17
Do you believe in miracles? The question has become attributed to the 1980 Olympics when the US was battling Russia in hockey, but it’s a question that can also be asked of us on this feast of Body and Blood of Christ. Do we believe in this miracle? Thomas Aquinas would say that there is an even greater miracle that we are challenged to believe, and that’s, can we believe God do do the same to us? God can transform us and perform the same miracle to each of us, something often very difficult for us to believe. Yet, this is the miracle we celebrate here; the miracle Paul address with the people of Corinth and the miracle Luke, and all the Gospel writers for that matter, speaks of in today’s account.
There are many miracles going on in the gospel reading. There are those that have been cured, the five loaves and two fish, the fact that all were fed and left satisfied, leftovers, and all of it taking place in a deserted place, certainly without all that was necessary to feed over five thousand! But if we keep reading the gospel accounts, we know that the disciples at many times will doubt and become skeptical of the whole miracle. Even in this account the thought of a miracle happening doesn’t even cross their minds! Do they believe in miracles? Nah, not necessarily, not at this point. They question until they begin to recognize the miracle taking place in their lives as well, their becoming of the body of Christ.
Paul has a different issue with the people of Corinth. There is scandal brewing amongst the people because of a division between the rich and the poor. The rich were eating the choice food before the poor would arrive and Paul finds it necessary to confront their behavior and the abuse of the Eucharistic meal. He goes onto tell them that you’re missing the point and not being changed by this Eucharist if your behavior isn’t showing it. If you find yourself excluding, for whatever reason, then you’ve lost the sense of the miracle happening before your very eyes. You aren’t allowing the Eucharist to transform you. You aren’t allowing yourself to become the miracle that is celebrated.
As we celebrate this feast of the Body and Blood of Christ, we are left with that same question, “Do we believe in miracles?” And better yet, do we believe that we can be transformed in the same way and into the Body of Christ. It takes a great deal of faith to believe that bread and wine can be transformed, and maybe even a deeper faith to accept that this Eucharist can transform us in the same way. As we approach this Table and say Amen, we say that we truly believe; not only in the real presence of the Eucharist but that the real presence is within us as well. It isn’t something that we leave here in this church, but something that should change us; someone that we take with us and transforms us into what we receive the Body of Christ. It is a miracle that happens before our very eyes. It is a miracle that we pray with deep faith transforms us into the Body of Christ and taken everywhere we go. Do we believe in miracles? Do we believe that we are a part of this miracle and have the faith to believe that we become what we now celebrate?