Saturday, June 05, 2010

The waybread that fills us


The reading for today’s Solemnity of Corpus Christi reminds us of what the renowned English author, J.R.R. Tolkien, expressed in his celebrated The Lord of the Rings trilogy. In this fiction, hobbits Frodo and Sam were given the task of destroying the powerful but evil One Ring. They had to go through the barren paths of Middle Earth in order to reach the place where the One Ring was forged and where it could only be destroyed—Mount Doom in Mordor. The Elvin queen Galadriel gave them lembas bread for the long journey. Tolkien explains that "this waybread of the elves had a potency that increased as the travelers relied on it alone and did not mingle it with other foods... It fed the will, and it gave strength... beyond the measure of mortal kind." Tolkien, being a devout Catholic, has partly intimated in his fiction what the Eucharist is for us, Catholics.

Tolkien’s lembas comes to mind when we hear what today’s liturgy provides us in the sequence before the Gospel proclamation: "Lo! The angel’s food is given to the pilgrim who has striven." Similar to Tolkien’s bread, the Eucharist is food for us, pilgrims journeying in the barrenness of this life towards the superabundance of eternal life.

From Fr. David O. Reyes, Jr.

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