THIS IS MY BODY … THIS IS MY BLOOD
The Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ
Scriptural Readings: Deuteronomy 8:2-3, 14-16; Psalms 147: 12-13, 14-15, 19-20 (12);
1 Corinthians 10:16-17; John 6:51-59
My dear encountered couples:
We celebrate a feast today of something that unfortunately has ceased to amaze us. The Body and Blood of Christ made present on our altars at every Mass, every day, in every Catholic Church throughout the world, has become so routine that it seems to have lost its wonder and attraction. The one large Host and the many small communion Hosts that are locked safely away for our adoration in our tabernacles are proof of that? Jesus suffers there, not from the stress of hearing about everybody’s problems every day, but from loneliness.
Before the pandemic, how many Catholics take time out to come to daily Mass, how many Catholics bother to stop by church during the day (I’m speaking of the ones that aren’t locked) and visit with Christ?
But maybe this is not a sign of our lack of faith in the Eucharistic Presence of Christ. It is merely a sign of the times. There aren’t too many things in the world that amaze anybody anymore. We have seen so much, we have experienced so much, maybe not personally but through the medium of television, that wonders for many of us have ceased to exist.
As amazing as are the magical performances of a David Copperfield, we know there is an explanation, we know that what we see is only an illusion, an ongoing mixture of smoke and mirrors. And so, we get bored with magic and switch the TV to another channel, one filled with car chases and bombings. After we’ve had our fill of those, what do we turn to? Another distraction of the moment which also holds our attention, but only temporarily. Is there a drug problem throughout the world because so many people are bored? I’m afraid wonders have taken their places on the endangered species list.
At the Mass, when Jesus Christ himself, through me, through your priest takes bread and wine and says, “This is my Body, this is my Blood,” Jesus himself becomes present on the altar. Jesus Christ, the Son of God, our Lord and Savior, our best friend and brother, is in my hands, on our altar, soon to be placed in your hands, your mouth, and enter into your stomach - and go out into the world with you. Through you Jesus will touch everything you touch, he will talk to everybody with whom you talk, he will love and forgive and work and play with everybody you do those and many other things with. In you, in me, the Son of God goes everywhere. Another wonder we often overlook: God in his Three Persons is already everywhere!
Are we impressed? Are we excited? What do you think? Is the feast of the Body and Blood of Christ, the feast the Church traditionally has called Corpus Christi, just another feast among many that comes and goes, only to come and go again next year without really getting anybody all worked up over it?
Little children get more excited over seeing Mickey Mouse come walking down the street at Disney Land than we grown up Catholics get when we see Jesus Christ raised high in the Host at Mass. That reminds me of the teenager who, when standing before the Sphinx in Egypt outside of Cairo said, “That’s nice. Where’s the mall?”
It is not likely to be faith that is lacking at every Mass that is offered. It is more likely indifference. “Where’s the Mall?” Do we tend to want to get the Mass over with so that we can get to something else, which is more than likely in its turn to also merit our indifference?
Pray for the gift of excitement, pray to be filled with wonder. For what we have before us, and soon to be within us, is God, the beginning and end of all that is. God created us, he brought us into existence, he gives us our every breath and heartbeat. He gives us all that is good in our lives. And soon he is going to let us take him into our hands, into our mouths, and enter into our hearts. Jesus Christ loves us so much he makes it possible for us to become one with him. He does not want to be somebody out there, he wants to be somebody in here, in our bodies and in our souls. Jesus wants to fill us with himself so we can become like him. What more can God do that he has not already done?
Jesus said to the crowd of Jews: “I myself am the living bread sent down from heaven. If anybody eats this bread he shall live forever; the bread I give is my flesh, for the life of the world.” At this the Jews quarreled among themselves, saying, “How can he give us his flesh to eat?” Thereupon Jesus said to them: “Let me solemnly assure you, if you do not eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you. He who feeds on my flesh and drinks my blood has life eternal, and I will raise him up on the last day. For my flesh is real food and my blood real drink. The man who feeds on my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me and I in him. Just as the Father who has life sent me and I have life because of the Father, so the man who feeds on me will have life because of me.”
Get ready! We are about to experience the greatest wonder of the world. In just a little while, Jesus Christ, the Son of God will be making a personal appearance. Let us get ready for him, let us keep our eyes open for him, let us be sure we don’t miss him when he comes. And when we do, let us be sure we reach out for him, take him in our hands, and draw him into our hearts (If you’re watching the Mass online, pray the spiritual communion prayer). Then be sure we never let loose of him.
Jesus Christ, the Son of God loves you. He is coming! Will this wonder ever cease! Only if we let it! God Bless you!