Solemnity of the Most Holy Body & Blood of Christ
June 7, 2015 – Year B
Readings: Ex 24:3-8 / Psalm 116 / Heb 9:11-15 / Mk 14:12-16, 22-26
by Rev. Salvador Añonuevo, Pastor
Someone has said, “Eat right, exercise, …and die anyway.” As God’s children, we don’t subscribe to this idea. In the spiritual sense, we believe that, if we eat the food that Jesus gave us, and do the spiritual exercises he prescribed, we will live with God for all eternity.
Today we are celebrating the Feast of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ, a feast which is actually being celebrated in churches all the time. Every hour of every day, a Mass is being celebrated somewhere in the world. But today our Holy Mother Church would like to emphasize it in a special way, to focus our attention on the importance of this sacrament in our lives as we continue our journey with God’s family here on earth.
Common sense tells us that we need to eat and drink to live. Parents with young children are happy when their kids have good appetites, especially if they eat more fruits and vegetables. Our Heavenly Father is also joyful when we have a good appetite for our spiritual foods, for they give us the strength to fight temptation and to keep ourselves free from the stain of sin.
St. John the Evangelist told us the story of how, on the day after Our Lord performed the Miracle of the Multiplication of the Loaves, the people kept looking for Him. When they finally found Him on the opposite side of the lake, the Lord told them, “You are looking for me, not because you understood the signs but because you ate the loaves and were filled.” And then He added, “Do not look for the food that spoils, but for the food that gives Eternal Life.”
And they said to him, “Lord, give us this bread.”
And Jesus replied, “I am the Bread of Eternal Life. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has Eternal Life.”
St. John the Evangelist tells us that these words caused many of Jesus’ disciples to turn their backs on Him. They stopped following Him. Jesus asked His closest friends, His twelve disciples, if they also wanted to leave.
Peter answered Him, “Master, to whom shall we go? You have the words of Everlasting Life. We have come to believe, and we are convinced that you are the Holy One of God.”
Now, about a year later, the faithfulness of Peter and the rest of Our Lord’s disciples, except for one, were rewarded. And this is what we heard in today’s Gospel: That during the Last Supper, the Lord Jesus took bread, said the blessing, broke it, and gave it to them and said, ‘Take it. This is my Body.” And he took the cup and gave thanks and said, “This is my Blood.” Peter and the rest of the disciples must have understood at that very moment the meaning of what we now call the Eucharist, which is the real presence of Our Lord Jesus’ body, blood, soul and divinity in the form of bread and wine.
And we are blessed indeed, my dear brothers and sisters, to be here at this very moment in the sanctuary of Holy Name of Mary. Just like Our Lord’s disciples, we may have doubts; we may always have unanswered questions about our faith. But in spite of these, we are all here to show our love and faithfulness to our God. And Our Lord Jesus will, in return, give us His Body and Blood in the Holy Eucharist as food for our journey, that we may overcome all obstacles until we safely reach our destination in God’s Eternal Kingdom.