The best way to a man’s heart is thru his stomach

The movie After.Life opens with the female lead figuring into a deadly car accident.

She wakes up in a morgue confused—as she finds an embalmer preparing her ‘remains’ for the wake. Feeling still very much alive, she resists. But he insists that she is in a transition to the afterlife, and that she’s already dead. Trapped inside the morgue, her boyfriend comes to see her.

This above the context of the dialogue below:

Embalmer: She belongs here.

Boyfriend: Because she’s dead?

Embalmer: No, because there’s no life left in her.

Boyfriend: What do you mean?

Embalmer: Don’t you see? I’m the only one that can see all these corpses wandering around aimlessly. All they do is piss and shit, suffocating us with their stench, doing nothing with their lives, taking the air away from those that actually want to live. I have to bury them all. I have no choice.

The lead character in the movie may be likened to a zombie. Zombies terrify us; but what is more horrible about a zombie is not their empty but penetrating stares nor their disfigured physique but that they are an animated corpse, a walking dead and that they lead a life that is only half.

There is something in the above conversation that made me fall into a pensive mood—and has made me confront these questions head on: “Am I really alive?” “do I actually live?”

Pope Francis, in the celebration of Corpus Christi in Vatican last Thursday spoke of a reality of a universal hunger not just for food, but also, for life.All human persons crave for that which brings nourishment, satisfaction, and fullness. But more often, we go elsewhere to satisfy this longing. And yet, we know that there is still fundamental lacking.

In our Gospel this Sunday (John 6:51-58) Jesus spoke of a bread which brings life—“Unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you do not have life within you” (John 6:53). This bread is Jesus.

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JESUS CHRIST is the Bread of Life, the nourishment toward life everlasting. Artwork by Br. Paul Dungca, SDB

Pope Francis exhorts that we should “learn to recognize the false bread that deludes and corrupts, because it is the fruit of selfishness, self-sufficiency and sin.” Further, he adds that “If we look around, we realize that there are so many offers for food that don’t come from the Lord and that apparently satisfy more. Some are fed with money, others with success and vanity, [and] others with power and pride. But the food that truly nourishes and that satisfies is only that which the Lord gives!”

Two summers ago, I was assigned in an institute for drug-dependents. I was distraught when I met the patients whose ages range from as young as 7 to beyond 77. One time, a young man of about 25 years old asked me to pray for him because he was told that his papers are due to be out any time soon; but this also depends if he could maintain a clean record. One minor violation means an extension of weeks to several months. He shared with me that his stay inside the rehabilitation center humbled him and allowed his family to help him because he was already helpless. The drugs he was using became too much to handle that he’s now hooked to them, and without the external help, things could have grown worse. That which initially gave him satisfaction and brought him to high heavens led him to confront the reality of a gnawing emptiness within.

Jesus comes and proclaims that He is the living bread from the Father. And they who partake of Him will not just be satisfied, nor will be filled, but will have life everlasting.

The best way to a man’s heart is thru his stomach—this adage says what in essence the Solemn feast of Corpus Christi is all about.

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