It’s a familiar phrase: “Give us this day our daily bread.” We say it in the Lord’s Prayer, and mostly we think we know what we mean by it. Food, shelter, resources sufficient for today, without worrying about tomorrow. Trusting in God’s provision.
The idea of trusting in God’s provision for our needs was vividly experienced by the Israelites in the wilderness, following Moses, escaping from slavery in Egypt. For forty years they wandered in the desert – because they did not trust in God’s provision, that God would go before them to conquer their enemies. So they ate manna and quails. And they could not gather more than a day’s supply of manna, except for the Sabbath. If they did, it went bad and smelt awful!
There are many elements to Corpus Christi, or The Fest of the Body of Christ, which celebrates the giving of the Holy Sacrament of the Eucharist. The readings for the day remind us of Abraham eating with Melchizedek; we have St Paul’s account of Christ’s words at the Last Supper (chronologically the closest written witness); and Jesus’ words from St John’s gospel, where he says he is the Bread that comes from heaven – the reference circling back to the manna in the wilderness.
The celebration of this festival is a solemn and yet joyous occasion. Rose petals are strewn, incense wafts upwards representing our prayers of thanksgiving, bread is broken and wine shared, as we remember and give thanks again for God’s limitless love for us, in giving us His Son, Jesus, to show us the nature of God in human form, to teach us how to live as God truly intended us to do. Loving one another as He has loved us.
May we live each day in the love and light of Christ.
Thanks be to God.