The feast we celebrate today is the central part of our Christian faith. It distinguishes us from other religions, faiths and beliefs because it is a celebration of our God’s self-gift to us as food for our lives. It is the climax of our Mass, which is also called the Eucharistic celebration.
To better understand the celebration of the Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ, the church offers us those three readings that we heard today. The first reading spoke about a reminder for the people of Israel on how God had saved them from slavery and how God had been sustaining them throughout their long journey across the desert. The second reading talks about the communion, the oneness of those who participate in this meal that Christ has offered to them; and the third reading, the Gospel, tells about Jesus offering himself as food and drink for those who believe in him.
Sitting together for a meal usually generates a spirit of togetherness. Also, sharing a meal is sharing life. It is not by coincidence that Jesus chose this moment to give to his followers a precious gift: his body and his blood. It is an everlasting gift that will remain with them forever to sustain them. It was supposed to be the last supper with them, and it became the first Eucharistic celebration, the beginning of the new relationship between Jesus and them, a new form of Jesus’s presence in their midst. At that time, Jesus knew that once he entered his Passion, they would feel totally abandoned and they would be scattered. Jesus offered this meal as a sign of his continuous presence with them, especially in time of persecution and trials; Jesus introduced this new rite to remind them his communion with them and to keep them in unity.
Sometimes, we forgot the importance of things/people when they are continuously present in our midst. Only we remember that they were there when they suddenly taken away from us. it is so common, for instance, to open the tap and get the water, without even thinking how it comes to us in our house, where it comes from, and it is taken for granted. Only we consciously realize how important it is when it is no more running in our kitchen. This time of pandemic is an unfortunate moment where many people are deprived from receiving the Eucharist in the form of bread and wine. It is a time where our souls are longing for that Food who gives us life from within. Nonetheless, it is a time to remember that the Lord is there, present in our midst and we receive him in spiritual communion.
The celebration of the feast of today reminds us the presence of this ultimate gift in our church and in our lives. It invites us to remember the salvation God has offered to us by sending his Son for our sake. It is an invitation to remember that Jesus, through the receiving of his Body and Blood, we become one body and one spirit in him. It reminds us that He is present in our midst to sustain us in our daily lives and in our journey towards our destination.
June 14, 2020