SOLEMNITY OF THE BODY AND BLOOD OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST
Deut 8:2-3, 1 Cor 10:16-17, John 6: 51-58
If we are not spirits, there is no point eating spiritual food. However, the God who made us in his own image is Spirit. He does not eat bread and tea. We are subject to physical food because of the body which we carry. Anyway, it is an added privilege which the angels do not enjoy.
However, since we are primarily spirits, we must give priority to the food that is proper to our true nature. If we give attention to physical food, we may lose all it takes to attain our spiritual destiny. The flesh cannot do the work of the spirit. St Paul, in his letter to the Romans, puts it simply,” if the spirit of the one who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, the one who raised Christ from the dead will give life to your mortal bodies also.” Romans 8:11. We live by God’s words. The words of God are spirit and life.
“You shall remember all the way which the Lord your God has led you these forty years in the wilderness, that he might humble you, testing you to know what was in your heart, whether you would keep his commandment or not. And he humbled you and let you hunger and fed you with manna, which you did not know, nor did you fathers know; that he might make you know that man does not live by bread alone but that man lives by everything that proceeds out of the mouth of the Lord.”
Some, in their pursuit of their daily manna or in the pursuit of material needs had lost their souls and forfeit the needs for their spiritual growth. How we crave for material things determines whether we actually know the stuff we are made of or not.
Jesus is the word who took flesh and dwelt among us. John 1:14. Through him, all things were made and without him nothing came to be. John 1:3. He said,
“I am the living bread which came down from heaven; if any one eats of this bread, he will live forever; and the bread which I shall give for the life of the world is my flesh”
Jesus gave himself to the church for her edification.In order to receive him, we have to prepare ourselves and always be in the state of grace. We are not expected to receive him with evil plans in our hearts. It is death to those who receive him unworthily. Judas received him unworthily and did not survive it. He died spiritually when Satan entered him (John 13:27) and later died physically when he hung himself. Many who receive him today are already dead, because they receive him with evil intents in their hearts and are not ready to change (1Cor 11:27-32).
On the table of the word, the priest tells us of the redoubtable deeds of God which burn our hearts and calls us to offer ourselves to him by bringing our gifts before his holy altar. At the words of consecration, Jesus, the Word, becomes flesh on the Eucharistic table. Here, he opens our hearts to the mysteries of God. He energizes us as we receive him either sacramentaly on our tongues or through our spiritual communion. We also receive him during Benediction.
This is a great privilege, that God had to hide himself under the appearance of bread and wine to be with us. It is a great act of humility which invites us to give our lives unto others in service. The banquet table of the Lord creates a family of love for us. Those who eats together are expected to be of one mind and heart.
Furthermore, we are the body of Christ. Love demands that any sick part of the body should be treated lest it infects other parts. Instead of infecting others with our sinful ways, let us repent and approach the sacrament of reconciliation and always make ourselves worthy of this Sacrament of Spiritual Nourishment. At times, those who refused to be treated should be given adequate spiritual therapy. This is where our spiritual works of mercy come in; correcting and instructing one another in love. May the Lord keep us healthy in his body.
In this family, our status does not count. Our ethnicity is not a measure for relationship. Rather the life we share in common. Because, “there is one bread, we many are one body, for we all partake of the one bread.”
Dear beloved, let us embrace the study of God’s word. It gives strength to our faith and builds us up. Let us give priority to the reception of the Holy Eucharist. It is a great gift of the Lord to us. Let us live our life following the mode of Jesus life. His life is a life of submission. A life of sharing, a life of communion and of love.
O Lord, help that I may meet you in your word. Give the grace to live by your example. I want to know you more in the banquet of your love. Oh Eucharistic Jesus, I want to knit my life into yours, that I may become one with you and attain my eternal destiny. Thy kingdom come.