On July 20, 1969, astronauts Buzz Aldrin and Neil Armstrong landed on the moon, the first two humans to ever do this. While Armstrong prepared for his moon walk, Aldrin unpacked bread and wine and put them on the abort guidance system computer. He describes what he did next:
“I poured the wine into the chalice.... In the one- sixth gravity of the moon the wine curled slowly and gracefully up the side of the cup. It was very interesting to think that the very first liquid ever poured on the moon and the very first food eaten there were communion elements.”
Just before eating and drinking the elements, Aldrin read this passage from the gospel of John:
“I am the vine and you are the branches. Whoever remains in me and I in him, will bear much fruit; for you can do nothing without me.”
Commenting on his Communion experience alone on the moon, Aldrin says, “I sense especially strongly my unity with our church back home, and the Church everywhere.”
This story not only gives special meaning to today’s gospel but also underscores the way we, the branches, remain united with Jesus the vine.
We remain united to Jesus by three ways in particular:
By gathering in His name,
by listening to His word,
and by sharing His Body and Blood.
Sincerely in Christ,