Corpus Christi and Carbing Up: Food for the Hungry

Today my husband and I are running in a 5K road race in our community. Last night I made us a pasta dinner with olive tapenade, since it’s supposed to be good to “carb up” before a race, and I’ve been drinking plenty of water to stay well hydrated. Carbohydrates provide the necessary glycogen to keep a runner from feeling fatigued too quickly, but they take time to get into one’s system, so what’s eaten the day before a race (or for longer races, even several days before a half marathon or marathon) is crucial for performance. Of course, this race is short, shorter than many of my training runs this past six weeks (when the Boston snow finally melted), but who am I to pass up a pasta dinner if it’s required for good health? 😉

Meanwhile, today is the Feast of Corpus Christi, when the Church celebrates the body and blood of Christ and his real presence in the Eucharist. I’m a convert to Catholicism. When people ask me why, I can either tell a long story or provide a one word answer: Eucharist. My initial attraction to the Roman Catholic Church was a surprise to me, and happened rather spontaneously after a friend invited me to lunchtime Mass at work. I initially went as an ecumenical gesture, but found myself attracted to the liturgy of the Mass and slowly falling in love with Jesus in the Eucharist especially. For a long time, I was not sure how this church would fit into my life— I was already deeply invested in another church, and not from a Catholic family —but the attraction grew and became increasingly clear over months and years.

I did not formally convert until several years after that initial inkling of a sense that I might be called to this place but recall months of praying over my decision, and longing to partake in communion, often asking God for the spiritual graces of it long before I could receive it in a physical way. Eventually, the decision was clear. I was in my mid30s when I received my first communion (and confirmation), overjoyed to receive that for which I had longed for, for so long.  Through the years, much has changed, but the attraction of the Eucharist never ceases. Every day, all around the world: there He is, food for the hungry, Bridegroom for the bride.

Partaking of the Eucharist strengthens us, a source of renewal in the face of many challenges. Unity with Christ is desirable as its own good, but it doesn’t stop there. We’re called to Christ into the world with us in our ordinary lives, too. In a way, the feast of the Eucharist is our spiritual “carbing up.” The Body of Christ is present in the Eucharist, but also that which transforms the people of God into the body of Christ. In the Eucharist, we are united with Christ and united with the community of the church, too. Divinity, unity, community all strengthen us for the journey ahead.

3 thoughts on “Corpus Christi and Carbing Up: Food for the Hungry

  1. Cheers! I. too, am a convert. And was so surprised as I read your blog thinking you to be this Catholic trained since birth. When people ask me about my church, about Mass, is it good I respond I attend Mass for the Eucharist. “But what about the homily?” they ask. The homily is extra, the icing left in the bowl. The Eucharist offers connection, healing and fortitude for the coming week. Hope you both did well in your 5K. Take care.


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