Today our holy mother the church celebrates the Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ. This feast is usually celebrated on the Thursday following Trinity Sunday, or on the next Sunday following Trinity Sunday. This celebration is also known as Corpus Christi, which means the Body of Christ. This feast started a long time ago; in the middle of the 13th century to be precise, in France. Over time, it was extended to the whole church by Pope Urban iv in the year 1264. Thus, it is now a universal celebration in the church. Usually on this Sunday, there is a procession with the Monstrance, showing Christ who is a gift from God to all people and also blessing us all as we adore him.
Our liturgy today emphasizes on the power and the importance of the Eucharist in our lives as children of God; and also Gods love for you and I as we partake of his body and blood in the Holy Eucharist daily. In the 1st reading of today, we see Moses reminding the Israelites about the wonders of God in their lives, as they journey to the Promised Land from Egypt. This reminder was necessary, especially to remind the people about where they were coming from and how God has journeyed with them so far. God fed them with manna in the desert, a gift and miracle that they never envisaged. This is also an opportunity for you and I to reflect about our journey so far with the Lord, do you remember were you are coming from with the Lord? The correct answer to this question will help us to remain focused; even in times of challenges and difficulties like the Israelites encountered on their way to the Promised Land.
In the 2nd reading from St. Pauls second letter to the Corinthians, he reminds us about the fact that the Eucharist unites us all as Gods children. The Eucharist is a bond that brings together all God’s children. An important question today is, is there anything that is removing you from this wonderful union of Gods people? If yes, then work on it and get united with God and his people. The message from this 2nd reading reminds me of that wonderful chorus which says-
Though we are many
We are one body
We are one body in Christ
Dear friends in Christ, in the gospel reading of today St. John reminds us about the power in the Eucharist. Jesus makes it explicitly clear that Partaking of the Body and Blood of Christ is a sure way to eternal life. This reminds me about the question raised by a seminarian some time ago about this particular passage, his question was, “even when the Eucharist is received unworthily Fr”? It is possible there will be people with similar question after listening to the gospel passage. If we want to be partakers of life eternal that Jesus is talking about, then we must strive to always partake of the Eucharistic sacrifice worthily. Taking into consideration the fact that the Eucharist is like a double edged sword; it can lead us to life eternal when it is received worthily and can stand against us when received unworthily.
In view of this, it is important for us all to reflect on what the Eucharist means to us as individuals. Do you receive the Eucharist because all those on your pew are going to receive it, or you have prepared yourself in the way of the church to receive it? Do you go for the Eucharist when you feel like going; is it optional for you? Do you find it difficult to go for the sacrament of reconciliation? Lastly, if there is anything keeping you away from the sacrament, seek for help. A reflection on these issues may help to strengthen our union with the Eucharistic Jesus. It is a necessity in our life, and it is life giving and should be encouraged that we partake of it as often as possible; according to the teaching of the church.
Today’s feast encourages us to remain united with Christ through partaking in the Holy Eucharist worthily. May God grant us the grace to always be in union with Christ. Peace be with you. Amen.