Gospel Reflection for 23rd June – Feast of Corpus Christi The Body and Blood of Christ – Corpus Christi
‘One Bread, One Body… One Cup of Blessing which we bless…’
Today’s Feast is about the bountiful generosity of God and it is also about the deepest description of who we are as the Church; we are the Body of Christ. Today’s feast is not just or simply about what we receive every time we celebrate the Eucharist; it is fundamentally about who are.
Every time we celebrate the Eucharist, we remembering in a sacred and profound way the Life, Death and Resurrection of Jesus; the Paschal Mystery. This is not some drama at which we are silent and passive observers. The Church document on the liturgy calls us to be Full, Conscious and Active participants in the celebration of the Eucharist at all times.
During the celebration of the Eucharist we present the most ordinary of things to God; bread and wine; fruit of the earth and work of our hands. God accepts, blesses them and then through power of the Holy Spirit they become the Body and Blood of Jesus. God then surprises us even more and returns these new gifts to us out of love. The Eucharist is an expression God’s ultimate bountiful generosity. Our response can only be gratitude which is why when we receive the Body and Blood of Jesus, we prayerfully respond, Amen. May we never take this greatest of gifts for granted. We didn’t earn, it’s not our right and we can’t demand it. It is God’s gift given freely out love to each of us. As Pope Francis reminds us; ‘The Eucharist is not a prize for the perfect, but a powerful medicine and nourishment form the weak.’ (The Joy of the Gospel: 47).
As we have already said, this wonderful feast also calls us to remember who we are: we are the Church, the Body of Christ. St. Augustine, great church writer, (345-430AD) said, ‘Believe what you see, see what you believe and become what you are: the Body of Christ. When you say ‘Amen’ we are saying, ‘Yes, I believe that this is Body and Blood of Jesus and that I will become the Body of Christ to others.’ At the meal we call the Last Supper during which he first offered himself to us through the breaking of bread and pouring of wine, he asked that when whenever we do this we are to do it in memory of him. At this same meal he also took the place of slave, washed our feet and asked us to do the same for each other; we are to serve each other. We can’t do one without the other. Because we have shared in the Eucharist with each other, we are called and challenged by Jesus to care for and serve each other. If we celebrate the Body and Blood of Jesus in memory of Jesus, we are also to serve each other in memory of Jesus. We can’t do one without doing the other!
At end of mass, we hear words, Go now to love and serve the Lord.This is the invitation and challenge presented to each of us precisely becausewe have celebrated the eucharist with each other. We are to take what we have experienced around the altar out and live it in our ordinary lives with each other: The love of God made visible through the Life, Death and Resurrection of Jesus Christ.
Br Michael Moore OMI
|Gospel||Luke 9:18-24 ©|
‘You are the Christ of God’
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