14  JUNE 2020: Solemnity of  The Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ

by FR. Emmanuel, our pastor

“Why are you a Christian?”

If anybody asks you the question: Why are you a Christian?  Or in other words What is the basic belief that makes you to remain a Christian?What would be your answer?  I think, the best answer is: “Because of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ.”  Without belief in the Resurrection of Jesus Christ there is no Christianity.  If again asked “why are you a Catholic?”  Again the best answer may be: “Because of the Eucharist.” Yes, the Eucharist is essential to Catholic belief and fundamental to Catholic life.  Today we celebrate the solemnity of the most Precious Body and Blood of Christ, traditionally known as the feast of Corpus Christi.  The Latin word Corpus Christi means “the body of Christ.  We use various names to refer to this mystery of the Eucharist and each word emphasizes different aspects of this great mystery:

  1. The Eucharist,” the Greek word meaning “thanksgiving,” because Jesus offered Himself to God the Father as an act of thanksgiving. Every Sunday we get together to thank God for all the gifts He gives to us. 2) “The Lord’s Supper”-or “Breaking of the Bread”-because we celebrate it as a meal commemorating the Last supper of the Lord. 3) “Holy Communion” because, we become one with Christ by receiving Him. 4) “Holy Mass” (holy sending), because it gives us a mission: “go in peace, glorifying the Lord by your life”. 5) “Viaticum,” the word meaning “the food for journey” when the Eucharist is received for the last time before death, because it becomes a food for that person’s final journey from this life to the new life in Christ.   At every time it is a food for our daily journey.
  2. Eucharist is a real sacrifice, instituted by Christ at the Last Supper. It represents Christ’s sacrifice of the Cross. Eucharist is also a sacrament of the real presence of the risen Christ among us.   Jesus has promised us that he would be with us until the end of the world and his presence is seen everywhere in the renewed universe.  He is present in the Holy Bible, in the word of God. He is present in each one of us and again he is present when two or more people gather in his name, in our families and in our church community.  All the more, he is present sacramentally in the bread and wine which turns to be His body and blood. 
  3. The Eucharist is the highest expression of prayer and the summit of worship. A most special moment of Eucharistic Adoration for all of us is when we receive Jesus in Holy Communion.   We read in the Gospel of John, Jesus saying, “he who eats my flesh and drinks my blood lives in me and I live in him.” (John 6:56)  There are no words to describe those most precious moments when we return to our seat after receiving the holy communion to spend quiet moments with Jesus.  We are one with Jesus and he is one with us. It is a moment of intimacy with Jesus, when we and Jesus are “all wrapped up in each other.”   
  4. The sacrament of the Holy Eucharist is the most profound expression of God’s love for His people. God’s desire on His part for mutual love and self-giving is the essence of the Eucharist.  As a sacrament of Love, it is necessarily a sacrament of union: our union with the Lord and our union with one another.  All love demands union; the more ardent the love, the more complete the union it seeks. 
  5. We all believe that what we receive in the Eucharist is the transformed risen body of Christ.  But this transformation will be meaningful only if it makes a transformation in our lives.  When we reach out to one another in the loving service of washing one another’s feet, we are following Jesus.  Our celebration of the Lord’s Supper should enable us to see Christ in every one, to see the suffering people around us as our brothers and sisters, the children of one loving God, our Father. 
  6. In the Gospel of St. Luke Ch. 8: verses 43-48 we read that Jesus was going to the house of Jairus. A woman, who was suffering from hemorrhages for twelve years came forward and touched the fringe of his clothes and immediately she was cured.   It was her strong belief that by touching the fringe of Jesus’ clothe she would be cured.  Jesus said to her, “Daughter, your faith has made you well, go in peace.”  We are all people privileged to touch not only the fringe of Jesus’ cloth but the body of Christ and more than that, to receive him in the Eucharist.  But where does our faith in the Holy Eucharist stand in comparison to the strong faith of that woman?  Let us pray that we grow in our faith and the Eucharist we receive unite us with God and unite us with one another in a great bond of love.   

As we participate in this celebration and as we receive the Eucharist, we ourselves have to become a Eucharist to one another.  As Jesus took the bread in his hands, gave thanks to the Father, blessed it, broke it and gave to the disciples, let us offer our lives to God with thanksgiving and ask the Lord to bless it.  Then let us break ourselves and give to others so that we ourselves become the Eucharist to our brothers and sisters.  So today as we celebrate the Eucharist, let us offer ourselves and what we have, may be a tiny fish or a cheap barley bread, and God will give everything in abundance especially the real life in Jesus.

May God bless you!