This Sunday is the Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ, also known as Corpus Christi. Our first reading brings us the words of Moses. He describes God the Father guiding the Jews through their 40 years in the desert, “to test…by affliction”. As we as fathers read this, we should reflect on what God was doing for His children. By allowing His children to suffer, He was teaching them an important lesson. “That not by bread alone does one live,”.
Taking this back into our own lives, as fathers, we have much more experience than our children. We have made mistakes and learned lessons. I know I would love to save my daughter from the pain of mistakes I have made if I could. But is that what’s best? Sometimes our kids need to experience hardship to learn for themselves. God didn’t abandon his children. He gave them manna, he showed them the way out of the desert that was ripe with perils and danger. We as fathers should always be there for our children. When they are young, we provide constant guidance and supervision for their safety. As they get older and venture off into their own deserts, we should still be there to offer advice and guidance when needed. It will be necessary to allow our children to endure pain and hardships, but always be there for them to offer what only a father can give them, our “manna”, sound fatherly advice!
Our Gospel reading is easily one of the most controversial in the Bible. Jesus declares that to be in true communion with Him, the disciples must eat His flesh and drink His blood. This was a very difficult teaching for many to accept and many departed from Christ’s following. This passage comes down to one thing, surrender.
Jesus had many followers at this point. People were inspired by Him. They took His words as the word of God. He often spoke in parables and metaphors that required explanation. There was no explanation here. Jesus said what He meant and meant what He said. Eating and drinking someone’s flesh and blood was just as taboo then as it is now. So what was Jesus asking of His disciples? What is He asking of us today? Full surrender. Trust and surrender that our Heavenly Father knows best. To be a great father in the eyes of God means to surrender to our Father in Heaven.
Lord God, help us to raise our children the way you intend. Be there for us as we endure the pain of watching our children suffer afflictions to come out stronger followers of Christ. Help us to show our children what surrender is. Going into this Solemnity of Corpus Christi, let us be the father’s that God has designed us to be. Amen.
Sunday’s Readings can be found at: