In this era when science is king, the world often tempts us to belittle the mysterious and miraculous aspects of our Christian faith. And yet, the mysteries and the miracles are still real.
Like a wise mother, the Church keeps us humble and reminds us that God is bigger than our limited human minds.
Today she gives us one of the biggest of those reminders, Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ, Corpus Christi. That is what the sacrament of the Eucharist is. It is not just a symbol of Christ’s presence; it is the reality of Christ’s presence.
Every Mass is a miracle in which Christ makes himself truly present to us under the appearance of bread and wine. Every Mass is a miracle in which God shatters the limits of time and space and brings Christ’s sacrifice on the cross into the here-and-now of our lives. Every moment of every day, as red candles burn beside tabernacles all over the world and remind us of Christ’s living presence in the Eucharist, that miracle continues. But why did Jesus choose to leave us his presence in this way, under the appearance of bread and wine?
He told us the reason, in the Gospel reading for today: “Just as the living Father sent me and I have life because of the Father, so also the one who feeds on me will have life because of me.”
Christians are called to follow in Christ’s footsteps, to be other Christs, to be Christ for others. But we are weak and sinful; how can we fulfill such a high calling? Only because Jesus has given us his own divine life, by feeding us with this divine food. Fort the Eucharist is divine food that Christ gives us to make us more like him.
We all know that people who eat well but don’t exercise soon get flabby and out of shape. The same thing can happen to us in our spiritual lives.
Each week we receive this divine food in the Eucharist, we pray, we hear the Word of God – we take in a lot of spiritual calories. But if we don’t put them to work, our souls will get flabby, self-centered and self-absorbed. For Christ’s grace to make us more like him, we need to make an effort to live just as Christ lived. And that means giving ourselves to others, just as he gives himself to us.
We all know people who are suffering, confused, or in trouble. This week, strengthened by our holy food, let’s be Christ’s messengers to them. We can find no greater joy in life than to spread to others the love we have received from Christ. And Jesus himself said this, as St Paul tells us in the Book of Acts: “There is more happiness in giving than receiving” (Acts 20:35).
Today, Jesus will gives himself to us once again in Holy Communion. Let’s thank him for this tremendous gift and promise that this week, at least this week, we will follow his example and give ourselves to others.
[Adapted from ePriest.com]