A Power Meal: The Supper of the Lamb

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A Power Meal: The Supper of the Lamb

June 24, 2014 | HNMWebmaster | Eternal Life, Eucharist, Faith, Father Salvador, Homilies, St. John

Most Holy Body & Blood of Christ
June 22, 2014 – Year A
Readings: Dt 8:2-3, 14b-16a; Psalm 147; 1 Cor 10:16-17; John 6:51-58
by Rev. Salvador Añonuevo, Pastor

The last time I was at home in the Philippines, I admired the big lighthouse on my island. I said to my cousin, “You must be getting rich here; that lighthouse is so big and must cost thousands of dollars.” He answered, “Yes, it’s expensive, but it was donated to us by a generous benefactor.” I said, “That’s good that it’s free, but what about the electric bill that you pay every month?” He said, “The good news is we don’t pay for the electricity. It’s solar powered.” Although that light is so big and can be seen for hundreds of miles, it generates its own power from the sun.

I notice many homes around here have solar-powered lights in their driveway. They generate power from the sun to give light at night. Of course, they need to be recharged and that’s free. St. John Paul II used to say that Jesus is the sun that never sets. He is the sun that gives us power and energy that we might be able to live life in all its fullness.

You may have noticed I deviated from my traditional introduction today. Normally I say, “My dear brothers and sisters, first I would like to thank and praise our Lord for giving us this wonderful opportunity to gather together in God’s name and celebrate the Holy Eucharist and listen to God’s living words and have the privilege of receiving our Lord’s body, blood, soul and divinity in Holy Communion.” Most of you have memorized that.

The reason why I didn’t say that is because today is the reason that I say those words every Sunday. Today we are celebrating the Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ. In Latin, we traditionally call this the Feast of Corpus Christi.

So why do we celebrate the feast of the Eucharist when we celebrate this every Sunday and even throughout the week in all churches? Our Holy Mother Church would like to dedicate this one particular day to once again remind ourselves of this great news, that our Lord Jesus is the Bread of Life – that he is the life of the world. He is the Bread of Life in today’s gospel. He said this twice in just 8 verses. In chapter 6 of the gospel of John, Jesus said, to the Jewish crowd, “I am the living bread that came down from heaven. Whoever eats this bread will live forever.” And just 7 verses after that, he said it again.

Of course, he is not talking about physical death; he is not talking about life as we know it. He is talking about the real you and the real me – that even if our body dies and after we cross the door which we call death, the real you and the real me will continue to live forever. To be able to live in God’s presence until that day comes, Jesus said, “I will be here to give you this living bread. This will give you strength. This will give you energy.

Three years ago, I noticed my cell phone had to be recharged several times a day, so I complained to my carrier. The person asked me, “How often do you use your phone?” I said, “Well, I use it all the time. I don’t only use it for calling and texting, I check my e-mails, I surf the Internet, I pray my Breviary and, the Bible is there, too.” He said, “And you are surprised you have to charge it several times a day? You use it a lot! Of course, you have to recharge it several times a day. It needs power.”

Well, we use our light a lot. We have so many activities during the day. We handle different types of problems every day. Many times we feel exhausted; we feel drained. And sometimes we can’t see any longer where we are going and how to get there, because we need to be spiritually recharged.

Jesus said, “I come that you may have life, and have it in all its fullness.”

He is not only the way; he is not only the truth; he is the life. And the God life in us is strengthened every time we pray. He promised that every time 2 or 3 are gathered in his name, there he is in our midst. Wherever we go, God is there. Every time we think about him – even if we don’t think about God – God is there. He is everywhere. He is omnipresent. But we are only talking about his spiritual presence. In the Eucharist, he is not only present spiritually. He is here sacramentally, physically, substantially, in the Eucharist – body, blood, soul and divinity.

So my dear brothers and sisters in Christ, it is a great privilege for us to be invited to the Lord’s supper. One time when I was invited for a dinner, I was introduced to different guests. Every time I call somebody, I make sure I call them by their proper name. My first year in this diocese, I was introduced to all the priests and the next time I saw one of my brothers, I said, “Nice to see you again, Greg.” He said, “Sal, my name is Gregory.” So when I was introduced to Stephen, I asked, “Do you go by Stephen or Steve?” He said, “Father, you can call me any name you want. Just don’t call me late for dinner.” I’ve heard that several times in the past.

Of course, God is calling us for supper – for the meal – every time we are here. And the good news is that we responded to this call. We are here with the rest of God’s family in Holy Name of Mary to partake of the sacred meal. It’s a privilege for us and it’s always such great news to hear these words before we receive our Lord’s body and blood in Holy Communion: Behold the Lamb of God. Behold him who takes away the sins of the world. Blest indeed are we who are called to the Supper of the Lamb.