2nd JUNE 2024

Feast of Corpus Christi - Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church



Ex 24: 3-8;     Ps 116: 12-13, 15-18;         Heb 9: 11-15;           Mk 14: 12-16,22-26



The young mother tenderly cuddles her three-month-old baby in her lap. She is filled with boundless joy and love when she gazes at her baby. While the baby happily giggles, she attempts to lull it to sleep with rhymes and lullabies. As this adorable drama plays out, a doctor arrives for the mother’s usual checkup with a serious expression. Softly, he tells the mother, “I regret having to say this!” You have terminal cancer. You have less than 15 days to live!” Imagine the condition of the mother! Her entire world falls crashing around her. The images of her child laughing, playing, and being fed in her bosom play before her. She realizes that she cannot cheat death and she is ready to die! But what about her babe? She is ready to die but not leave her child! She is rather willing to die a thousand deaths than leave her child orphaned!

If there was a love that could for the highest part mimic closely the love of God is the love of a parent for their child. God’s love for humankind is unconditional and selfless! If a mother could feel such pain in leaving her child orphan, how much did Jesus grieve when he died on the Cross? Yet, in this plan of salvation that had to be achieved, Jesus in his extraordinary love left us something behind! He left us the Eucharist – the sign of his everlasting love.

Today is the Solemnity of the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ. The Solemnity commemorates Christ’s sacrificial love made visible in his sacred body and blood. The Liturgy underscores the value of the Eucharist in our lives. In the first reading, from the Book of Exodus, we witness Moses sprinkling the blood of the sacrificed bulls on the altar and the people establishing the renewal of the covenant God promised to His people through Abraham. The Eucharist too is the new covenant made manifest through the offering of Jesus’ own body and blood! Just as Moses called the people to do what the Lord had said, the Eucharist too is a reminder to act on the words of Jesus. In the second reading, from the letter to the Hebrews, Jesus is presented as the eternal High Priest. The High Priests offered sacrifices by offering animals to the Lord and sprinkling the blood of the animals for the purification of those who had sinned. However, Christ as the High Priest did not offer any animal. Rather, he offered himself as the perfect sacrifice once and for all and offers his blood for our redemption through the Eucharist. The Gospel presents a miracle! Jesus shares his last supper with his disciples and transforms the meal into his own body. The bread becomes His flesh, the wine becomes his blood and the Passover meal becomes the Eucharist.

The Solemnity of the Corpus Christi is the celebration of our faith! St Thomas Aquinas in his hymn Tantum Ergo writes the line, “Senses cannot grasp this marvel; faith must serve to compensate.” Our senses cannot measure how much Jesus loved us. The orphan child cannot measure how much her mother loved her. Nevertheless, she knows her mother loved her. It is faith that assures her. Similarly, faith provides us the assurance that Jesus loved us. Without faith, the bread and wine will be only bread and wine. But in faith, one beholds the transformation of the material bread and wine to the Material and Spiritual Body and Blood of Jesus! Just like the mother who having received the news of her death, desires to make every second with her child count, Jesus in offering his body and blood empties himself selflessly only to make us realize how much he loves us! Just as the mother now seeks from the father of the child or anyone close to her a promise that they would love the child and see that, nothing is lacking in her, Jesus too in providing his Body and Blood wants us to be spiritually nourished and transformed by grace.

The child grows up believing that her mother loves her. The Church for the past two thousand years has grown up in faith and love through the nourishment of the Eucharist. However, we are not orphaned! Through the Eucharist, He dwells in our midst! The Eucharist is nothing short of recalling and actualizing the same love, Jesus has for his children!

Response: The cup of salvation I will raise; I will call on the name of the Lord.

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