First Reading (Deut 8:2-3.14-16). The author exhorts the people to remember that they are God’s people who need to nourish themselves on his word.

Second Reading (1 Cor 10:16-17). In the Eucharist we all share the same bread, and so, however many we are, we form one Body in Christ.

Gospel (Jn 6:51-58). As food and drink nourish the body, so Christ nourishes us with his body and blood for this life and eternal life.

When the Church assembles, the baptised gather to receive the Body of Christ (the Eucharist), so as to be made into the Body of Christ (the Church active in the world). In accepting the gift of Christ at Communion, each person prays ‘Amen’. This has two meanings: an act of faith indicating belief that we truly receive the Body of Christ; and acceptance that we are called to become what we receive, the Body of Christ. This is what we proclaim when we partake in the Sacrament of the Eucharist.

We receive Christ that we may become Christ. St Augustine taught that ‘who is standing around the altar’ cannot be separated from ‘who is on the altar’. At every Mass it is the Body of Christ, the Church, which is gathered around the Body of Christ on the altar, the table of the Lord. The Eucharist helps the community of Christian faith to become who they truly are, the Body of Christ.