God gives bread from heaven. Jesus Christ, His Body, Blood, soul, and divinity.
It’s not cannibalism, because He lives. And we don’t transform the food from heaven into our substance, like we do with hamburgers and salads and stuff. With the Food from heaven, the digestive process works in the other direction. He assimilates us to Himself. We become a part of the Body that we eat, when we receive Holy Communion.
Now, we Catholics love the world. We love the people of the world. We hope for a better future, even in this life–a better human future for the earth. Not naively: We don’t hide our eyes from the effects of original sin. But we nonetheless believe in the fundamental goodness and beauty of man, the paragon of all animals, who God has made little less than the angels.
But I think we can qualify our admiration for mankind by saying: We believe in the fundamental goodness of man, when he receives adequate nourishment. We’ve all seen the Snickers ads. When man begins to starve, he grows desperate. Reason goes out the window. Same thing can go for whole communities, when there’s no food. We become a tragic, disfigured version of ourselves. A whole nation can lose the ability to think straight.
Now, what about a starvation diet of the Bread from Heaven? When our beloved brothers and sisters in the Lord absent themselves from the sacred assembly? They wind up spiritually starved, for lack of divine nourishment. Can we expect rational thought, calm restraint, and sanity, under such circumstances? Hardly.
Praise the Lord, when it comes to the heavenly Bread, we don’t face scarcity in these parts. Yes, we have a priest shortage in our diocese. But every county has at least one Sunday Mass. No one need starve.
Let’s make sure that we keep ourselves well fed, so that we can stay healthy and maintain our calm, rational composure. Then, we will have the strength and clarity of mind to help our poor brothers and sisters who, for some strange reason, see fit to starve themselves, rather than make a good confession and come to the table to eat the Body of Christ.