The Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ (B)
It is inspiring that the Israelites proclaimed, “All that the LORD has said, we will heed and do” (cf. Ex24:7). But we know they did not follow through with this. Nevertheless this proclamation really was rooted on the following:
a) God’s love is immeasurable. God initiated this relationship of obedience with His people to show them that He loved them and so they would remain in Him. The Israelites could not take any credit on what they had, on what they could do and on what they were, because everything was God’s blessing to them as a people. Only in obedience as a people to God could they worship and love Him. And obedience to God was their only course to enter the Promised Land.
b) God’s graciousness is unquestionable. God was humble enough to come to a renewed relationship with a sinful people. Despite the unworthiness of the offering of animals, God accepted them in the hope that His people would open their hearts and remain faithful to Him. His humility was His gift to them so that they would not be lost forever.
c) God’s fidelity is unsurpassable. He was so generous to forgive the transgressions of the Israelites, and granted them back the privilege to be His people, which they lost repeatedly by worshipping other gods, for as the Psalms tell us: “the Lord is gracious and merciful, slow to anger and abounding in love” (Ps 145:8).
On our part, we learn the following:
a) Obedience and humility are God’s gifts to us for our salvation. We look up to Jesus who “emptied himself, taking the form of a slave, coming in human likeness; and found human in appearance, he humbled Himself, becoming obedient to death, even death on a cross” (Phil 2:7-8). St. Paul exhorts us to remain obedient and work out our salvation with fear and trembling, to be blameless and innocent and to shine like lights in the world.
b) God’s humility in sending His Son to us is His gift to us, in order that we will not be lost forever due to our sins. In our responsibilities and relationships we proclaim Jesus as our Lord and Savior, for if we only talk about it, we are like sounding cymbals. St. John says, “God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through him. Whoever believes in him will not be condemned, but whoever does not believe has already been condemned, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God. And this is the verdict, that the light came into the world, but people preferred darkness to light, because their works were evil” (Jn 3:17-19).
c) God possesses everything and does not need anything, nor can we pay Him for anything. He only wants to share His joy and blessings with His children. He even sent His Son to redeem us from the evil one. Our fidelity to God rests on our obedience to His commands and on faithfulness to our work and our relationships. St. Paul in his letter to Titus says, “They are to slander no one, to be peaceable, considerate, exercising all graciousness toward everyone. For we ourselves were once foolish, disobedient, deluded, slaves to various desires and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful ourselves and hating one another. But when the kindness and generous love of God our savior appeared, not because of any righteous deeds we had done but because of his mercy, he saved us through the bath of rebirth and renewal by the holy Spirit, whom he richly poured out on us through Jesus Christ our savior, so that we might be justified by his grace and become heirs in hope of eternal life” (Titus 3:2-7).
The Solemnity of the Body and Blood of Christ will have meaning only in the understanding that we are temples of the Holy Spirit and living tabernacles of the Lord. As we receive the Body of Christ in Holy Communion, let us commit ourselves to become His living tabernacles that will open to His people the only begotten Son of God from whom flow rivers of blessings and graces in our words and actions. From the celebration of the Eucharist we bring Jesus to all we meet, in our responsibilities and in our relationships. With Mary, who was the first tabernacle of the living God, let us become more conscious of the presence of Jesus in us, let us “pray without ceasing,” avoid harsh words that sadden the Holy Spirit, work for the promotion of peace and development, and foster an environment of love filled with God’s graces.