June 10, 2012
Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ (Corpus
Christi) 2012 B
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."
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.