The Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ (C)
In our culture, which dictates to us a fast pace of life and prescribes many things to be disposable, we tend to choose busy places and bright colors, fast and flashy vehicles, attractive and mouth-watering food, fleeting pleasures, high technological gadgets with particular aversion on older versions, fast and easy money, and hassle-free and unruffled lifestyle.
As we celebrate the Solemnity of the Body and Blood of Christ, we are faced with its simplicity, the seemingly time-consuming moments needed to reflect on and participate in its celebration. Yet we are particularly faced with the glory of God on account of our salvation, and the wisdom and strength that it gives us to live in this world that dictates innumerable activities to accomplish. In the little white bread we have the Life, Jesus, as He wants to live in us and that we live in Him. With the cup of wine, we share in the passion of Jesus in the hope of rising again with Him in glory.
The Gospel today tells us that Jesus taught the people of the Kingdom of God and healed those who needed to be healed. The words that Jesus uttered would lead us to the conviction that He is what He teaches us, He is the purpose of our life, and it is He who we want to possess.
Jesus healed not only physical ailments, but also mental, spiritual, psycho-emotional and social infirmities and weaknesses. All the time, He would lead the disciples to trust in Him and see the power of God, so that all might believe and be saved, as He indicated regarding the illness and death of Lazarus: “This illness is not to end in death, but is for the glory of God, that the Son of God may be glorified through it” (Jn 11:4).
It is said that we cannot love what we do not know. With true love is found God’s wisdom, and with wisdom are the virtues that we need to live by. If all we know are worldly things, all we can love are fleeting things. Jesus warns us: “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and decay destroy, and thieves break in and steal. But store up treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor decay destroys, nor thieves break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there also will your heart be” (Mt 6:19-21). If we do not know Jesus and the Scriptures, how can we love the Eucharist? St. Jerome said: “Christ is the power of God and the wisdom of God, and if the man who does not know Scripture does not know the power and wisdom of God, then ignorance of Scripture is ignorance of Christ. (from Jerome’s Commentary on Isaiah).
Besides preaching and healing, Jesus also gave food to the people. They had to realize that the food they ate was God’s gift of His presence and His gift of healing for their weariness, for their resolve to follow Jesus, and for their strength on their way home and vigor in their relationships.
In the preparation of the gifts at Mass, we proclaim that what we offer from the dignity of our work and from God’s blessings, may be our life in union with the Body of Christ, the Church. So the priest proclaims: “Blessed are you, Lord God of all creation, for through your goodness we have received the bread we offer you: fruit of the earth and work of human hands, it will become for us the bread of life…. Blessed are you, Lord God of all creation, for through your goodness we have received the wine we offer you: fruit of the vine and work of human hands, it will become our spiritual drink.” Yes, for when we eat of the one bread and drink from the one cup, we become one with Jesus and with His people, and we become one in His suffering and death, so that we can also rise with Him in glory.
Jesus gives Himself to us in the Eucharist, the Sacrament of His Body and Blood. Here we realize that His words and His actions are one; thus, the Liturgy of the Word and the Liturgy of the Eucharist. When we participate and partake of Him in the celebration of Eucharist, we receive His teachings and His healing power. He brings us back to the right attitude of humility that we are creatures, and He is our God, King and Savior. He heals our brokenness and strengthens us in our weaknesses. He removes everything that hinders us from coming closer to Him and keeps us constantly aware of our responsibilities. Hence, the importance of faith!
In gratitude and hope, and in the power of the Holy Spirit, Mary carried Jesus in her womb. In her simplicity and humility, She proclaimed Herself the Handmaid of the Lord. She delivered Jesus to the world, to redeem all from the crutches of evil. With Mary, Our Lady of the Eucharist, let us partake of the Body and Blood of Jesus, so that when we preach it will be the words of God, and when we serve it will be done with the strength that God supplies (Pt 4:11). We then become instruments of the truth that God works in our life and instruments of Jesus’ healing power over our broken relationships. Yes, He has blessings for us in abundance.