The Eucharist Is Food and Love

A number of Commonweal readers will know of the death on April 27th of Father Kevin Seasoltz, OSB, a monk of Saint John's Abbey, Collegeville, and long-time editor of Worship magazine.Here is the ending of the funeral homily preached on May 2nd by Abbot John Klassen of the Saint John's community:

The Eucharist that we celebrate here is an expression of Gods love for us. But it must also be an expression of our love for one another. On multiple occasions, Father Kevin shared an account that Cardinal Basil Hume gave of a trip to Ethiopia, that illuminates so well this essential feature of Eucharist.Cardinal Hume had been asked to visit a settlement where starving people were desperately waiting for food. As Cardinal Hume got out of the helicopter a small boy came up and took his hand. The boy had nothing but a loincloth around his waist. He would not let go of Cardinal Humes hand. He made two gestures: with one hand he would point to his mouth to indicate his need for food. With the other he would take the cardinals hand and rub it to his cheek.Cardinal Hume wrote: I have never forgotten that incident. I realized in a new way those two profound and fundamental needs: for food and for love With one gesture he showed the need for food, with the other his need for love. On reflection I realized in a new way the secret of the Eucharist, for the Eucharist is food and love.As we celebrate and give thanks for the gift of Father Kevins worship, work, and life with us, we do so in the sacrament that meant so much to him. We bless the Lord of righteousness and acknowledge God as a God of life, as a source of forgiveness and resurrection. May all of us join Father Kevin in that great heavenly liturgy in the New Jerusalem.

Father Kevin's obituary and a link to the full homily may be found here.

Robert P. Imbelli, a priest of the Archdiocese of New York, is a longtime Commonweal contributor.

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