Body and Blood of Christ (June 18, 2017)
Today we celebrate God’s providential care for us in the gift of the Eucharist.
The Scripture readings we have just heard are so familiar that it’s easy to let them pass through our ears and never direct them to our mind and heart. Each day we offer Jesus’ sacrifice for us to the Father once again and eat his body and drink his blood as food for our day’s journey.
Each time we celebrate Eucharist, Jesus gives himself to us completely. As we stay close to him, our lives become so entwined with his life that his thoughts, his desires, his attitudes become ours. More and more, Jesus lives in us.
Through the Sacrament of the Eucharist, we as Church “become more profoundly in Christ a sacrament, a sign and instrument of intimate unity with God and of the unity of the whole human race,” as Pope John Paul reminded us.
Do we always remember the grace and responsibility we accept when we eat and drink? Paul reminds us: the bread we share is one. Therefore, we who eat it must be one - selfishness and individualism are unthinkable. Do we take care about that responsibility as we leave the Lord’s Table and go about our daily living?
Jesus reminds us: “the person who feeds on me will have life because of me.” The Eucharist is the graced means given to us to fulfill our purpose in life - to give praise to God by letting Jesus come alive in all we say and do. The Jesus whose Body we eat and whose Blood we drink is the same Jesus who is in us as we go about our day.
Are we as conscious of that fact as we could be
- when we talk with one another?
- when we have to deal with our own weaknesses and faults?
- when we get irritated at others’ faults and weaknesses?
Do we let the gentle, humble, compassionate, forgiving Jesus come alive in us in these circumstances? Or do we tend to forget and let self-interest and self-gratification come alive instead?
We all give thanks each day for the gift of Eucharist we celebrate and receive. Perhaps today’s celebration can remind us once again in our humanness that the gift we receive in Eucharist - Jesus himself - is the gracious presence we carry with us during the day.
May each of us learn more and more to share Jesus living in us with everyone we encounter each day.