Homily for June 22, 2014:Most Holy Body & Blood of Christ: Fr. Scott Bullock

June 22, 2014

Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ (Corpus Christi) 

Reading 1 Dt 8:2-3, 14b-16a

Responsorial Psalm Ps 147:12-13, 14-15, 19-20

R/ (12) Praise the Lord, Jerusalem.

Reading 2 1 Cor 10:16-17

Gospel Jn 6:51-58

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Two cannibals, Stu and Chip, met one day in the jungle. Stu said, "I went up the river and got me a couple of Catholic monks the other day and brought ‘em home and boiled them and they tasted terrible." Chip replied, "You boiled them?" "Yeah, why?" said Stu. "Well, that’s the problem,” said Chip.  “Those are friars."

For enduring that groaner, one of my last, you get a bonus:  a shorter homily.

As it turns out, these cannibals are not the only one who are “choosy” about what they eat!  We too engage in lots of conversations and thought about what’s good to eat. Do you remember when we could eat food without analyzing it?

Now, we need to know:

  • What’s the calorie content?
  • What’s the fat content, saturated and unsaturated types?
  • How many carbs?
  • How much sodium?
  • Organic?
  • Genetically modified?
  • Baked or fried?
  • Any artificial additives?

While I think we might agree that we’ve gone a bit too far when a meal becomes like a trip to the chemistry lab, there is wisdom in the fact that healthy in generally produces healthy out—health and vitality.  Now, if we can just figure out what is actually good for us . . .

While we do not take it literally that “you are what you eat,” we can see some logic in this maxim.   However, it is literally true that the sacred food that we eat here definitely makes us what we eat! This is Jesus’ promise, which he proclaims clearly and absolutely literally: “Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me and I in him. . . . Whoever eats this bread will live forever.” Jesus has made us a sure and certain promise:  When we do “this” in memory of him, we receive his very Body and his very Blood.   And, what is this Body and Blood?   It is the very life of God, it is God, it is the Lord. When we eat it in faith, we become what we eat! God is life, Jesus is God, we become Christ-like, we become filled with the life of God when we eat His Body and Drink his blood.  The Body of Christ literally MAKES Christians!

There are things we could choose to do with our when it’s time to go to Sunday Mass.  We could choose to feed on other things:  recreation, dining, TV, even more sleep.  Yet, in faith we are most choosy to come to eat what we desire to become:  like Christ, the very life of God.

We gather at this sacred banquet because we want to know God, to become more Christ-like, to live life more fully.  And Jesus tells us clearly, if we want to live more fully, we’ll need to eat to become—We need to eat His Body and drink His Blood, his very life.  We come here because we need the Body of Christ.  And in doing so, we become what we eat!