23rd Saturday in Ordinary Time
1 COR 10:14-22; LUKE 6:43—49
Saint Paul adds his witness to faith in the Eucharist as the body and blood of Christ. He makes no elaborate explanation but simply states that to drink of the cup of blessing is to share in the blood of Christ. He adds further that to partake of the bread that we break is to share in his body. In these words he makes it evident that in the Churches he founded or visited, celebrating the Eucharist was already a widely spread practice. Such a significant expression of fidelity to Christ’s example and teaching was a source of a sense of communion in the very early Church. This conviction based on faith has continued to unite the faithful throughout the world today. In distant and remote parts of this earth the mass is said daily, at times in difficult even dangerous circumstances.
The unity of the Church is founded not only on belief in the truths revealed by our Lord, but also on the reception of his body and blood in this sacrament. Jesus chose to give himself in the elements of bread and wine, radically altering their very nature at the invisible level of substance when he established this sacrament. Inherent in this first Eucharistic sharing was the anticipated presence of the death and resurrection that were about to take place. The apostles came to realize this truth in its fuller significance only after the resurrection of the Savior. Very soon after the Holy Spirit descended on those present in the Upper Room following the Ascension the faithful along with the apostles began to share in “the breaking of the bread.”
In the Gospel from Saint Luke we have heard, we are presented with teaching of our Lord that reveals how practical he was in daily life. Working with Joseph the carpenter from his youth, it was natural for him to use examples from building. He understood the need for a firm foundation in constructing a house, and readily applied it to the need for a solid moral life in order to be united with God. May we put this teaching into practice, and make of it a preparation for the worthy participation in the Eucharist that we have just heard Paul describe in detail in to the Corinthians.