SUNDAY, SOLEMNITY OF THE MOST HOLY BODY AND BLOOD OF JESUS (CORPUS CHRISTI)
Gn 14:18-20; Ps 110:1-4; 1 Cor 11:23-26 ; Lk 9:11-17
JESUS IS THE BREAD OF ETERNAL LIFE
The solemnity of the Body and Blood of Christ, which the Universal Church celebrates today reminds us all of the wonderful gift of God to us through the person of Jesus Christ, who is sacramentally present in the form of bread and wine. While the primary focus of this solemnity is on the spiritual nourishment that Christ gives us, its secondary focus is on the Body of Christ as it is present in the Church. The Church is called the Body of Christ because of the intimate communion Jesus shares with his Church. In order to help keep in focus both the unity and diversity of the Church, Jesus uses the metaphor of a body in which He is the head and the Church.
The Body and Blood of Christ (the Eucharist) is the most excellent gift ever given by anyone on earth. It also shows how much God loves and cares for both our temporal and spiritual welfare. Therefore, today we celebrate the sacramental presence of Christ in his Church. Today, all the readings touch on a single issue “giving or offering of something.” The first reading briefly tells us that: “Abram gave Melchizedek a tithe of everything”. He did not give it with the sole intention of getting something in return. Of course, Melchizedek did bless him, and offer thanks to God on his behalf with the bread and wine.
In the gospel, Jesus wants to give his disciples a small lesson. So, he says to them: “You give them something to eat.” The disciples could not neglect such an order of the Lord: their duty was to obey the commands of the Master. So, they do some searching in the crowd (Mk 6:38) and eventually find someone who has five loaves of bread and two fish. But this is quite insufficient for the crowd present there. All of this shows us very clearly that the Apostles, the disciples of the Lord, those whom Christ chose, to continue his Mission on earth, should not worry primarily about temporal needs: these needs must remain secondary. What is important is preaching of the Word of God. “You give them something to eat”: this means, first, “Give my People the Word of God, the Word that gives eternal Life; give them the Bread of Life, which is my Body.”
Full of compassion for these admirable people, Jesus lifts up his eyes to heaven and blesses the loaves and the two fish. As he looks towards the Father, Jesus already sees all those who will one day be at his side in the Kingdom, and he prays for them. It is in this spirit that the Lord multiplies the loaves and the fish by blessing them. Everyone ate until they were full, and what remained of the food filled twelve baskets. One basket for each apostle. It is as if Jesus had said to his disciples: “Do not be afraid. I am watching over you. Providence is with you. Faithfully carry out your mission – which is my mission – and I will provide for all your needs.” The Apostles understood this very well after they had received the Holy Spirit at Pentecost.
On this day, let us all receive the Bread of Life. Let us all be Apostles of Jesus Christ. Let us proclaim the Kingdom of God and entrust our life as well as all who are dear to us to the Providence of God. God takes care of us like a Father. Even more so, he takes care of us like a Mother, for he gave us the Mother of his Son Jesus: Mary is our mother in Heaven. Let us also ask her to watch over us and to give us today the eternal Life that is in Jesus her Son, along with that little bit more that only a mother can have in her heart, to which she witnesses to please her children.
Finally, today the solemnity of Corpus Christi, what Christ offers us is his real Body and Blood, real food and real drink which is the “locus of our faith”. With it, Christ draws us closer to himself. Christ is present with us in the Holy Eucharist as the head of the Church. So, today’s celebration is therefore an opportunity to thank God for the gift of himself to us through Jesus Christ who sacramentally is present with us.
Response: You are a priest forever, in the line of Melchizedek.
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