Sunday, June 10, 2012
Drink It New
June 10, 2012
The Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ (Corpus Christi) 2012 B
By Rev. Joe McCloskey, SJ
Taking the book of the covenant, he read it aloud to the people, who answered, "All that the LORD has said, we will heed and do." Then he took the blood and sprinkled it on the people, saying, "This is the blood of the covenant that the LORD has made with you in accordance with all these words of his." Exodus 24:7-8
When Christ came as high priest of the good things that have come to be, passing through the greater and more perfect tabernacle not made by hands, that is, not belonging to this creation, he entered once for all into the sanctuary, not with the blood of goats and calves but with his own blood, thus obtaining eternal redemption. For if the blood of goats and bulls and the sprinkling of a heifer's ashes can sanctify those who are defiled so that their flesh is cleansed, how much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself unblemished to God, cleanse our consciences from dead works to worship the living God. Hebrews 9:11-14
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." Matthew 14:22-25
We are a Eucharistic people. The Body and the Blood of Christ make us who we are in our relationship with God. He takes us into himself even as we take Christ into ourselves. Christ gave us Eucharist and the Church has formed itself around the gift Christ makes us of himself. The Church is rightly called the Mystical Body of Christ. There is no Church without the Eucharist. The blood of Christ washes us clean even as the Bread of Christ feeds us our daily bread. Eucharist is our covenant with God. Christ has loved us so much that he would be one with us. His love continues even as his Resurrection takes his human body into heaven and he leaves us his gift of his ongoing presence in Eucharist. The humanness of Christ lives on in the Church in the Sacraments. Our relationship to Christ grows with every Eucharist we partake. Here on earth we grow into more and more of Christ by the reception of Eucharist.
Our response to God loving us so much to send us his Son is found in how we make ourselves into the presence of Christ here on earth. The Sacraments make Christ real to us. Eucharist gives us the promise of life everlasting in us as we become real "Christs" for each other. We search out ways to bring Eucharist into our daily lives. We make return to the Lord for all that he has done for us by taking up the cup of salvation. We call each other Christian by owning the name of the Lord for ourselves and each other. Christ entered into the sanctuary with his own blood, thus obtaining redemption. We study how to best offer ourselves to each person that needs us. We create the Church by making ourselves Eucharist for one another.
The gift of perfect praise of God is our offering Eucharist. The day is filled with chances to do things for each other. Eucharist is found in the time and the energy we put out for the needs of others. How we offer ourselves in the inconveniences of our lives is Eucharist. How we take an extra moment to be present to a question and a need of others makes Eucharist of our time and efforts. There is no moment of our lives that does not have the potential of being Eucharist. All the moments of life we relish with others become Eucharist in the pleasure we take in another’s company. It takes effort to make each reception of the Body and the Blood of Christ meaningful. Whether we resolve to bow our heads or how we open our hearts to the willingness of Christ to be one with us is how our Eucharistic devotion shows itself. Christ would be so present to us that we can touch him in our reception of Eucharist. How we offer our lives back to God is the richness of a Eucharist well-received. How we become his hands and feet in bringing love to those who need us is how Eucharist is lived in our lives. The paradox of Eucharist is that the only way we can hold unto Christ is by sharing him with another. Even as Christ became the saving victim of our salvation, we become his saving love by the time and the energy we put out for those who need our Eucharist. We keep Christ in our hearts by sharing him with each other. The more we give of Christ, the more we have.