The Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ

Sunday June 3, 2018
The Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ
Lectionary: 168

A Reading from the Gospel according to Mark
Mk 14:12-16, 22-26

On the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread,
when they sacrificed the Passover lamb,
Jesus’ disciples said to him,
"Where do you want us to go
and prepare for you to eat the Passover?"
He sent two of his disciples and said to them,
"Go into the city and a man will meet you,
carrying a jar of water.
Follow him.
Wherever he enters, say to the master of the house,
'The Teacher says, "Where is my guest room
where I may eat the Passover with my disciples?"'
Then he will show you a large upper room furnished and ready.
Make the preparations for us there."
The disciples then went off, entered the city,
and found it just as he had told them;
and they prepared the Passover.
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.
Amen, I say to you,
I shall not drink again the fruit of the vine
until the day when I drink it new in the kingdom of God."
Then, after singing a hymn,
they went out to the Mount of Olives.

Salesian Sunday Reflection
Body and Blood of Christ

In today’s Gospel we experience Jesus telling His disciples of His real presence in the Eucharist. St. Francis de Sales notes that the Eucharist strengthens us and the community.

The first Christians had but one heart and one soul and preserved this union among themselves. What built that great union among them was none other than the celebration of the Eucharist. Later on, when reception of the Eucharist was discontinued or rarely received, holy love became cold among Christians, and totally lost both its strength and its alluring delight. In the Eucharist, God is at once both Gift and Giver who strengthens each of us in community.

The height of Our Savior’s self-giving love for us is the Eucharist. Infinite happiness is pledged to us in the Eucharist, the perpetual feast of divine grace. In the Eucharist, God becomes our food. How wonderful to be nourished on the Bread from heaven that Our Lord gave to us.

The more we are united to God, the more we are united to one another. Each time we receive Communion, our union will become more perfect. For being united with Our Lord, we shall also remain united to one another. That is why the holy reception of this heavenly Bread and of this sacrament is called Communion, that is, common union.

The Eucharist is the real and spiritual presence of Christ. When we receive the Eucharist, our Lord carries us and does deeds in us altogether performed by Him. In the Eucharist, all He asks is our co-operation in the practice of virtue and good works. Our Savior gives Himself totally to us in the Divine Sacrament. Ought we not to give ourselves totally to Him who advances, strengthens and nourishes us with His life-giving love in the Eucharist?

(Adapted from the writings of St. Francis de Sales.)