The Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ (Corpus Christi)
June 7, 2015
Reading 1 Ex 24:3-8
Responsorial Psalm Ps 116:12-13, 15-16, 17-18
Reading 2 Heb 9:11-15
Alleluia Jn 6:51
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Gospel Mk 14:12-16, 22-26
Homily— June 6 & 7, 2015 the Body and Blood of Christ
Growing up in the Fifties I remember my First Communion and Mom borrowing a white jacket from someone for me to wear with my dark pants & a tie. Every Sunday we would get ready for church and this meant putting on my Sunday clothes and Sunday shoes. When we came home from church Mom would remind us to change our clothes before we began playing outside.
With the warmer weather I would like to encourage everyone to dress appropriately for church especially those involved in ministries. Of course the two most important items to me are first, that you are here, and second, that your heart is yearning to welcome God’s presence.
In today’s first reading, the Israelites commit themselves to a wholehearted response to God’s commands: “We will do everything the Lord has told us.” The fact that the covenant was sealed in blood indicated that their intent was not merely to conform to the law but to enter into a lasting relationship where lives are shared.
Yet we Christians constantly find excuses for not doing what God or Jesus has told us to do. Too often our attitude is “How much can I get away with while still avoiding serious sin?” Instead of doing the bare minimum we should all be asking how much we can do to embrace God’s will rather than how little we must do.
The gospel says, “while they were eating, he took bread, said the blessing, broke it, gave it to them, and said, ‘Take it; this is my body.’ Then he took a cup, gave thanks, and gave it to them, and they all drank from it. He said to them, ‘This is my blood of the covenant, which will be shed for many. ‘” Imagine you were there. Jesus says this is my body, this is my blood but it tastes like bread and wine. Can we believe what Jesus has told us? St. Thomas Aquinas says, “That in this sacrament are the true Body of Christ and his true blood is something that ‘cannot be apprehended by the senses but only by faith, which relies on divine authority.’ St. Cyril says: “Do not doubt whether this is true, but rather receive the words of the Savior in faith, for since he is the truth, he cannot lie.’”
Where do we find the presence of Christ? The Catechism of the Catholic Church states that ”Christ Jesus, who died, yes, who was raised from the dead, who is at the right hand of God, . . . is present in many ways to his Church: in his word, in his Church’s prayer, ‘where two or three are gathered in my name,’ in the poor, the sick, and the imprisoned, in the sacraments of which he is the author, in the sacrifice of the Mass, and in the person of the minister. But ‘he is present . . . most especially in the Eucharistic species.”