Today’s first reading from the Old Testament and the Gospel both relate to us the stories of God’s miraculous multiplication of physical nourishment for His people. The implications clearly point to a foretelling of the institution of the most Holy Eucharist, which is our Lord’s intention that nourishment for the soul be available for all time.
St. Thomas Aquinas, that great theologian of the Eucharist, tells us that while the Eucharist is indeed physical nourishment, there is a major difference between God’s intention for the Eucharist and ordinary food. Whereas ordinary food is taken in and becomes part of our bodies, helping them to grow and be strong, in the unique case of the Eucharist, instead of being transformed into our bodies, we are transformed into that which we receive! Said another way… We become part of the Eucharist (the physical presence of Christ)!
Thus, as St. Paul reminds us today in the second reading, the result is that we all become a unity of …”one body and one spirit … one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is over all, through all and IN ALL!”