Sunday Connection

Sunday Connection

Sunday Connection

God speaks to us in many ways, including through the Sunday Scripture readings. The Sunday Connection provides useful background and activities to better understand the upcoming Sunday's Scripture readings, helping you to connect the Scripture to daily life in a meaningful way.


The Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ, Cycle C

Sunday, June 23, 2019


This Sunday's Readings


First Reading
Genesis 14:18-20
Melchizedek, king of Salem, blessed Abram.

Responsorial Psalm
Psalm 110:1-4
You are a priest forever, in the line of Melchizedek.

Second Reading
1 Corinthians 11:23-26
As often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the death of the Lord until he comes.

Gospel Reading
Luke 9:11b-17
They all ate and were satisfied.

Background on the Gospel Reading

Today, the second Sunday after Pentecost, we celebrate a second solemnity, which marks our return to Ordinary Time. Today is the Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ. At one time, this day was called Corpus Christi, Latin for “the Body of Christ.” In the most recent revision of the liturgy, the name for this day is expanded to be a more complete reflection of our Eucharistic theology.

The feeding of the 5,000 is the only one of Jesus' miracles to appear in all four Gospels. Luke places it between Herod's question, “Who is this about whom I hear such things?” and Peter's response to Jesus' question about who he thought Jesus was: “You are the Messiah of God.” In Luke the feeding is not the result of Jesus' compassion for the crowd but is instigated by the disciples. They wanted Jesus to send the crowd away to town. Instead Jesus tells the disciples to give them some food on their own.

The passage is meant to remind us of two feedings in the Old Testament: the feeding of the Israelites in the desert and Elisha's feeding of 100 people with 20 loaves in 2 Kings 4:42-44. It is also connected to the institution of the Eucharist. As in the Last Supper accounts in Matthew, Mark, and Luke and in Paul's account in 1 Corinthians 11:23-24, Jesus takes bread, looks up to heaven, blesses the bread, breaks it, and then gives it to the disciples. In using this exact language, Luke is reminding his readers that in this miracle Jesus is doing more than feeding hungry people as God did for the Israelites and the prophet Elisha did as well. The bread he gives is his body, which he will continue to give as often as the community breaks bread in remembrance of him in the Eucharist.


Gospel Reading
Luke 9:11b-17
They all ate and were satisfied.


Making the Connection (Grades 1, 2, and 3)

On the Feast of the Body and Blood of Christ, help younger children understand the significance of the Eucharist. 

Materials Needed

  • host and chalice

Preparation for Sunday Scripture Readings

  1. Say: Jesus gave us signs of his love called sacraments. They give us God’s grace. They make us strong and fill us with God’s love. What is the sacrament in which bread and wine become the Body and Blood of Jesus? (the Eucharist, Holy Communion)
  2. Show children the host and chalice. Ask children to name them and guide them to identify that the bread becomes the Body of Christ and the wine becomes the Blood of Christ. Say: In the Eucharist, Jesus is truly with us. Today we celebrate the Feast of the Body and Blood of Christ.
  3. Say: Today’s Gospel tells us about a different meal that Jesus gave to a large crowd.
  4. Read today’s Gospel: Luke 9:11b–17. 
  5. Say: Jesus blessed the food, and there was enough to feed all the hungry people. There was even some left over. Jesus teaches us about God’s love. God’s love for us never ends. We can always be filled with his love. We are so blessed to be loved that much.
  6. Pray a prayer of thanks to Jesus for teaching us about God’s love and for being with us in the Eucharist.


Gospel Reading
Luke 9:11b-17
They all ate and were satisfied.


Making the Connection (Grades 4, 5, and 6)

Young people of this age are very familiar with the concept of fast food, which does not necessitate eating with others and the sharing that takes place at a meal. The Eucharist is a meal that nourishes our spiritual hunger.

Materials Needed

  • None

Preparation for Sunday Scripture Readings

  1. Ask the young people what food they would order at this very moment if they had the chance.

  2. Invite volunteers to share what they are hungry for.

  3. Explain that the human body needs energy and that we have detectors in our brains that keep track of our energy supply. When the energy levels get low, these detectors send out a signal letting us know that we are hungry and that we need to replenish our energy.

  4. Tell the young people that we use the word hunger to describe needs that human beings have other than food.

  5. Arrange the young people in groups of thee or four and have them brainstorm a list of spiritual, emotional, and psychological things that human beings can be hungry for or in need of. Some examples include compassion, forgiveness, friendship, affirmation, and so on.

  6. After a few minutes, invite the groups to report as you record their ideas on the board. Say: Just as our bodies require the proper nourishment for energy, we also need the proper nourishment for emotional and spiritual needs or hungers.

  7. Ask whether anyone knows what we have for our spiritual nourishment. (the Eucharist)

  8. Explain that, on the feast of the Body and Blood of Jesus, we give thanks for the meal of the Eucharist.

  9. Invite volunteers to read aloud this Sunday's Gospel, Luke 9:11b-17.

  10. Ask: How much food was left over after the meal? (12 baskets)

  11. Say: The Gospel is teaching us that, with Jesus, there is more than enough spiritual nourishment to go around. Jesus can satisfy our spiritual hungers, and we can always go back to him for more.

  12. Conclude by praying the words we pray before coming forward to receive the Eucharist at Mass: Lord, I am not worthy that you should enter under my roof, but only say the word, and my soul shall be healed.

 


Gospel Reading
Luke 9:11b-17
They all ate and were satisfied.


Making the Connection (Grades 7 and 8)

In the Bible, meals are seen as much more than a means of satisfying physical hunger. The Hebrew people viewed eating a meal as a way of expressing and strengthening their relationship to one another under God's covenant.

Materials Needed

  • None

Preparation for Sunday Scripture Readings

  1. Arrange the young people in groups of three or four and tell them to imagine that they are going on a week-long hiking and camping trip. Instruct them to plan out their meals for the journey

  2. When they are finished, invite them to report to the entire group.

  3. Point out that if they were going on such a trip, it would be important to bring along enough food and the right kinds of food to sustain them along the way.

  4. Tell the young people that we often use the word journey to describe our spiritual life and that in this Sunday's Gospel, we learn about the kind of food we need for that journey.

  5. Invite volunteers to read aloud Luke 9:11b-17.

  6. Ask: What did the disciples want to do with the large hungry crowd? (They wanted to send them away.) What does Jesus tell the disciples to do? (He tells them to give the crowd some food to eat.) Say: Jesus took five loaves of bread and two fish and was able to feed the entire crowd of 5,000 people until they were satisfied. What do we learn about Jesus from this story? (Jesus satisfies our spiritual hunger.)

  7. Say: As we celebrate the feast of the Body and Blood of Jesus, we are thankful for the gift of the Eucharist, the meal that feeds us on our spiritual journey.

  8. Conclude by praying the words we pray before coming forward to receive the Eucharist at Mass: Lord, I am not worthy that you should enter under my roof, but only say the word, and my soul shall be healed.


Gospel Reading
Luke 9:11b-17
They all ate and were satisfied.


Family Connection

In our age of fast food and eating on the go, families often find that they are not eating meals together at a dinner table. As a family, look back over the past week and recall how many meals were eaten together and how many meals were eaten alone or on the run.

In the Bible, meals are seen as much more than a means to satisfy a physical need. The Hebrew people viewed eating a meal as a way of expressing and strengthening their relationship to one another under God's covenant. It is no coincidence that meals are often the setting of Jesus' teaching and miracles in the Gospels. In this Sunday's Gospel, we hear the story of Jesus feeding the crowd of 5,000 people.

Read this Sunday's Gospel, Luke 9:11b-17. Talk about the kinds of hungers that people have in addition to physical hunger. Describe the hungers that a family nourishes (love, compassion, forgiveness, laughter, and so on). Together give thanks for the food that Jesus gives us that we celebrate on this Sunday's feast of the Body and Blood of Jesus. Make a commitment to share in this Eucharistic meal together as a family.