Feast of the Body and Blood of Christ – John 6:51-58

Today, we celebrate the solemn feast of Corpus Christi, and it is a celebration of the gift of the Body and Blood of Christ.  The purpose of this celebration is to teach us to appreciate the great gift of the Holy Eucharist, both as a sacrament and as a sacrifice.

These days, we hear so much about eating healthy and good food by counting calories, getting enough fruits and vegetables, and maintaining a balanced diet.  In many ways, it is wonderful!   The nutritionists and health experts advise us to eat well and be well!  Recall that saying: “You are what you eat.” In other words, what we eat says something about ourselves!

This is very true, not only of what we eat in our dining rooms and restaurants, but what we consume in front of our altars.  What we eat here looks and tastes like unleavened bread and table wine. However, it is really the Body and Blood of Christ.  “We will become what we eat!”  We become healthy and strong members of the Body of Christ, and we enjoy living in holiness and communion with our God.

St. Mother Teresa said, “The Holy Eucharist is the spiritual food that sustains me – without the Eucharist, I could not get through one single day or hour in my life.”  Visitors to her home for the dying in Calcutta were often surprised that their first stop was the Eucharistic chapel.  Mother Teresa would tell the visitors, “Jesus is the Master of the house;” Jesus’ presence was the reason for her love for the poor and sick.  This was one of her most important lessons – that we should see the mysterious connection between Christ’s presence under the appearance of bread and wine and Christ’s presence in the poor.

Pope Francis said in his homily during the Mass at the celebration of Corpus Christi, “Jesus speaks in silence in the mystery of the Eucharist and each time reminds us that following Jesus means to come out of ourselves and not make our lives our possession, but a gift to Jesus and a gift to others.”

In our everyday Holy Eucharist celebration, we are receiving, nourishment by the Body and Blood of Christ and united with Christ.  But it is an invitation for us to be united with our brothers and sisters with whom we live.  That is why this feast, The Body and Blood of Christ, challenges us in the way we live the reality of community.

The sign of the Body of Christ is not only in the consecrated bread and wine alone.  It is in us, transformed by the spirit at the Eucharistic meal, to be authentic witnesses in the world.  Let us allow God to leave us through the Bread of Life.  Then we must be willing to become the Eucharist for others to make the love of Christ real for all.

Let us pray that we, too, can become His bread of love and forgiveness to others.  As we leave from this Church, please remember that a Christian, who receives Jesus’ Body and Blood, is made to be a living tabernacle of God’s presence!  Let us fill up our lives so that we can reach the end of our journey!


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