The Body and Blood of Christ
Deuteronomy 8:2-3, 14-16
I Corinthians 10:16-17
I do not want to go to Mass! “This is my Body; this is my Blood. Take and eat of it, and drink of it for this has been given up for you.” My spouse is dying; please come so they can receive food for the journey. “Take this all of you, for this is my Body, this is my Blood. Take and eat of it, and drink of it for this has been given up for you.” We hear all different reasons why to come to the Eucharist or why not to come. We need to find one good reason!
Today we celebrate the Solemnity of the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ, and how I long to say something to convince all of us of the importance of this Solemnity. What we celebrate is so powerful and life changing. We celebrate that when Jesus took simple bread and wine, raised it up, blessed it and said, “This is my Body, this is my Blood” he meant it that way. What we celebrate today is what defines us as Roman Catholic. What we celebrate in the gift of the Eucharist is our ‘source and summit,’ a perfect form of worship.
The Solemnity of the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ is what we need to instill in our children and grandchildren. I give thanks that my parents with five little ones went to Mass, we never missed. When we were at Mass, I could tell, even as a boy of three or four years of age that something special was happening to mom and dad, they became peaceful, more patient, and more loving. Mass was nothing ever to take for granted or dismiss its power, it was real, and mom and dad did their best to hand that on to us.
In our first reading, Moses gives us a reason to come to the Eucharist by saying, “Never forget what God has done for you!” We come never to forget what God has done for us. Moses goes on to say, “Now live on every word God has to say to us.” We also come to the Eucharist to live on every word God has to say to us.
In our second reading, St. Paul expresses another reason to come to the Eucharist, and that is because when we celebrate the Eucharis, we celebrate one cup of blessing. We can go anywhere in the world, no matter what language and go to mass and we can follow along. When we come to the Eucharist, it is our opportunity to bless and thank God for his many blessings. We should never miss this opportunity.
In our Gospel, Jesus gives us another reason to come to the Eucharist because we need to become what we eat. At the end of Mass and I say, “Go, in peace, to glorify the Lord by your life.” Wow! How do we glorify the Lord, by all we do? Only by receiving the Eucharist more and more.
How can I convince you that the Eucharist is our greatest gift? I know of its power in my life, and I have given my life so others may know what I know. With all that life brings us how we can be anywhere else than at the Eucharist that sustains us? The Eucharist is where we need to be when we want to give thanks and praise to God. The Eucharist is where we need to be when life is a struggle, and things are out of control. The Eucharist is where we simply need to be, why be anywhere else?