Second Thursday of Shliha, Precious Body and Blood of Jesus

Qeryana I (Old Testament Reading I): Genesis 14:1-20  
Qeryana II (Old Testament Reading II): Malaki 1:6-11  
Engarta (Epistle Reading): 1 Corinthians 10:15-17; 11:23-30  
Evangalion (Gospel): John 6:51-64  

Genesis ch 14:1-20 presents Abraham as one who defeated a coalition of four kings who invaded the region of Sodom Gomorrah taking captive his nephew Lot  and receiving offerings from king Melchizedek king of (Jeru)Salem (Ps 74:3) on his victorious return from against Chedorlaomer and his allies. Melchizedek, whose name meant, was a priest-king, brought bread and wine to Abraham and blessed him (v.18). The letter to the Hebrews (5:6-10; 6:20; 7:1-28) sees here an echo of the Eucharist. Prophet Malachi (1:6-11) speaks about against the priests who failed in their duty and so wanted to close the doors of the temples to them; God is not going to accept any sacrifice from them. Then we read, “For, from the rising of the sun to its setting, my name is great among the nations, and everywhere incense is offered to my name as well as pure offering. For, great is my name among the nations” (v.11). Here the prophet speaks about the sincere offerings of the nations.


In his letter to the Corinthians (1 Cor 10:15-17; 11:23-27) Paul gives a correct and realistic understanding that the Eucharistic sharing as a communion in the body and blood of Christ, which is expressive of the koinonia that should characterize any Christian community. In the body of Christ all are important though roles and services may differ. All share in humiliation and elevation, in joy and suffering; one cannot ignore or be insensitive to what happens to another. Here is the foundation of our mutual love and service.


St John (6:51-64) reminds us that the Eucharistic bread is the risen body of the Lord that has come down from above. It is the life-giving bread. It is unbelievable for many as it was with the close disciples of Jesus; some even left him at the strange idea of giving his body and blood to be eaten and drunk. Then Peter said to Jesus: “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life? We have come to believe and now we know that you are the Holy One of God.”


The most important aspect of the Eucharist is Jesus’ breaking his body and shedding his blood for us all in love and we eat his body and drink his blood expressing our willingness to do the same for others. There is no greater worship than this. Our Eucharistic devotion is in this breaking and giving of the self in the form of love and service in all possible ways; which is more demanding and difficult than sitting a few hours before the Eucharist. In this connection, let us not forget that the QURBANA celebration is most important and not mere adoration. Let us celebrate IT as solemn as possible.


Fr. George Kaniarakath, CMI

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