Body and Blood of the Christ (Ages 9-12): Whose Feast Is This?

(Begin by reading the Gospel, or better yet, ask someone to read it to you. The Gospel is better heard.)


Luke 9.11b-17


This Sunday, we celebrate the Feast of the Body and the Blood of Christ. A feast about the Eucharist, then? Why is the Body and Blood of Christ so important to us? On this Sunday, we might expect to hear about the Last Supper again, but we do not. We do not hear the word Body, and we do not hear the word Blood. We have to wonder, then, why this reading today. What does this reading have to do with the the Body and the Blood of Christ?


At the beginning of this reading, crowds of people have gathered to listen to Jesus.

Jesus spoke to them about the kingdom of God, and healed those who needed to be cured.

We are given a clue as to what this reading is about. Jesus speaks about the Kingdom of God and heals. Are these related? Jesus speaks about the Kingdom and he does the work of the Kingdom. We could say, Jesus lives the Kingdom of God.

The day was drawing to a close, and the twelve came to him and said, “Send the crowd away, so that they may go into the surrounding villages and countryside, to lodge and get provisions; for we are here in a deserted place.”

All this Kingdom living—preaching, healing—has led to a huge crowd of people stranded without food. The twelve—the apostles—realize that they have a problem. They turn to Jesus to solve the problem.


But Jesus says,

“You give them something to eat.”

What? This is not what the apostles had in mind. They cannot. They know that they cannot. It is impossible. They tell him:

“We have no more than five loaves and two fish—unless we are to go and buy food for all these people.” For there were about five thousand men.

They sound frustrated with Jesus.


But Jesus says,

“Make them sit down in groups of about fifty each.” And taking the five loaves and the two fish, Jesus looked up to heaven, and blessed and broke them, and gave them to the disciples to set before the crowd. And all ate and were filled. What was left over was gathered up, twelve baskets of broken pieces.

We call this a miracle, but what does that really mean? What is a miracle?

We can think about what we have heard.

When first there was hunger, now all are fed.

When first there was not enough, now there is an abundance.

When first something seemed impossible, but it was brought to Christ and placed into his hands, then something extraordinary occurred. Everyone catches a glimpse of the fullness of the Kingdom of God.


And what else? Who did the work of the Kingdom?

Jesus, yes, but not alone.

Who brought the problem to him?

Who followed what they heard from him?

Who took the food and set it before the people?

Who gathered up baskets full of the leftovers, the sign of the presence of God?


Jesus gives them a share of the work of the Kingdom. They live it together.

On this feast of the Body and the Blood of Christ, who are we celebrating?

Jesus, yes, but not alone.

We bring our impossible problems to him and we take him into ourselves. We become the Body and the Blood of Christ.


We are given a share of the work of the Kingdom. We live it together.

And when first there is hunger, all become fed.

When first there is not enough, there becomes an abundance.

When first something seems impossible, but we bring it to Christ and place it into his hands, something extraordinary occurs.

Everyone catches a glimpse of the fullness of the Kingdom of God.

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