Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Our Lord, Jesus Christ. (Corpus Christi)
“And as they were eating, he took some bread, and when he had said the blessing, he broke it and gave it to them. ‘Take it’ he said ‘This is my body.’ Then he took a cup, and when he had returned thanks he gave it to them, and all drank from it, and he said to them, ‘This is my blood, the blood of the covenant, which is to be poured out for many.’ “Mark 14:22-24 JB
On Sunday the church celebrated the solemnity of the Body and Blood of Christ. The Mass is also known as the Eucharist. This is a Greek word meaning ‘thanksgiving’. At Mass, we come together to thank God for all He is and all He has done for us.
At each and every Mass, we are taken back in spirit to the upper room where Jesus shared his last Passover meal and last ever meal with His disciples before He was betrayed and crucified. At Mass, we bring ourselves to kneel on Calvary and are present in spirit as Jesus dies on the Cross for us, offering Himself to the Father for the forgiveness of our sins and the restoration of our life with Him. In the Mass, we believe as Catholic Christians that the simple gifts of bread (for our strength) and wine (for our joy) are transformed by the power of the Holy Spirit which become for us the Sacred Body and Blood of Jesus. We receive Him, His Body, His Blood, His Soul and His Divinity under the appearances of the bread and wine, but in substance He is truly present to us as we eat of His Body and drink of His Blood. His Body restores us to wholeness and His Blood cleanses us from our sins.
The Eucharist is the most wonderful gift from God to us and we should aim to go to Mass and receive Christ in His Body and His Blood every day if possible. The Mass is the source and summit of the Christian life and is not reserved for those who are good – the Eucharist is our strength, our joy, our hope of eternal life and our consolation in times of need and sorrow. Holy Communion is the food we need to sustain us on our journeys of faith, our pilgrim ways. We are to simply be obedient to God in presenting ourselves and lives to Him, just as we are with all our joys and sorrows. When we come together to celebrate the Mass we are obeying Jesus’ command for us to meet together regularly and remember Him and His love and sacrifice for us. We ask God to bless us and our offerings of bread and wine, which, when the words of Jesus are spoken over them, become Jesus for us.
In love we give Him ourselves and ask Him to fill us with His Holy Spirit and His very self as we eat the bread and drink the wine. In the breaking of the bread and the pouring of the wine we remember Jesus’ Death on the cross for us – His Body was broken and His Blood was shed. His Death has reconciled us to God and restored us back to the Father. Let us give thanks to the Father for all His love and blessings towards us.
This week, if your commitments allow, in addition to attending Sunday Mass, why not try to go to an evening Mass or Mass during the day at a parish near you? When you go, take time out to spend time in silence to thank Jesus for all He is and all He has done for us in Eucharistic Adoration. Thank Him for the wonderful gift of His Precious Body and Blood which He gives personally, to you. This week, please pray for the young people in Year 3 in our Catholic First Schools who will be making their First Holy Communion over the next few weekends as they will be receiving Jesus for the first time.
O Sacrament Most Holy, O Sacrament Divine, All praise and all thanksgiving, Be every moment thine! Amen.