Solemnity of the Body and Blood of Christ

Readings: Exodus 24: 3-8 Hebrews 9: 11-15 Mark 14:12-16.22-26

Theme: The power in the Eucharist

Today the Church celebrates the Solemnity of the body and blood of Christ. This feast started in France in the mid-13th century and was extended to the whole church by Pope Urban 1V in 1264.  This feast is usually celebrated on the Thursday after Trinity Sunday in places where it is a holy day of obligation or shifted to the following Sunday.  Today’s solemnity emphasizes the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist. It is a sacrament of God’s love for his people.

As we celebrate the Body and Blood of Christ, it calls to mind the Sacrament of Love and the Sacrament of God’s presence among His people. Today in the Gospel we see how Jesus instituted the Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist and he gave us a mandate to continue to celebrate it in his memory. In the 1st and 2nd readings, we see God entering into a covenant with His people.  However, one important question that emanates from the Old Covenant is, did the Israelites remain faithful to the Covenant they entered into with God? The answer is no, they were not faithful to that Covenant even though God was always faithful to the covenant. The 2nd reading presents to us the New Covenant. In which Jesus entered into with His own Blood. Jesus enters into a Covenant with His own Blood by going to the Cross, by bringing us life; life in abundance. The sacrifice of the Eucharist is the real presence of Christ. It is not just a symbol, it is a reality. For those of us who believe, what does the Eucharist mean to you as a person? In the Eucharist, do you meet God? In the Eucharist do you experience His love? In the Eucharist, there is an encounter between God and his people.

When we go to God worthily in the Eucharist, we will experience His love, peace and blessings. We are encouraged to partake of the Eucharist worthily, not because all those around us are going for it. The more we receive Him worthily, the more united we will be with Him and experience his love and blessings. That is why as we celebrate the Body and Blood of Christ today, it invites us to make honest effort to make the Eucharist part of our lives.

There are some very important questions that we need to answer today as individuals. Do you truly believe in the Eucharist? Do you really believe in the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist? Do you believe in the power in the Eucharist? Do I make a sincere and honest effort at all time to endeavor to be true partakers in this wonderful mystery that God has presented to us through His Son Jesus Christ?

The Eucharist should always and everywhere be a source of blessings to us and never a source of curse because we received it unworthily; thus bringing us condemnation instead of blessings. That is why my brothers and sisters, today as we celebrate the Body and Blood of Christ let us make firm resolve to live a life that is truly Christian. We must not be like the Israelites who entered into a covenant with God and never kept it. We must strive to always keep our covenant with God. For as many of us who have entered into a covenant with Him and have broken it, let us decide to retrace our steps and go back to Him, to reestablish that covenant with Him, to make firm resolve and to do all within our power to keep our own side of the bargain. As long as we keep our side of the bargain, we can be rest assured that everything will work well unto good because God is faithful to His covenant.

He is ever faithful to his covenant and as such he keeps his covenant. If we want to begin to experience the love that emanates from the Eucharist, then we must be willing to keep our side of the bargain. We must be willing to make sincere and honest effort to appreciate this wonderful sacrifice that God has given us in the Eucharist. In the Eucharist is our peace, in the Eucharist is our salvation, in the Eucharist is our blessings. Nothing must separate us from the Eucharist. The sacrament of reconciliation is always at our disposal.

We pray as we celebrate the Body and Blood of Christ today that God in his infinite goodness and love will grant us the graces we need to be true followers of Christ by living out the Eucharist and all it entails in our daily lives through Christ our Lord. Peace be with you.

 

 

 

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Homily for the Solemnity of the Body and Blood of Christ Year B, by Fr. Jude Ifeanyi Ifezime, C.S.Sp
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