The Body and Blood of Christ
Today we celebrate
the feast of the Body and Blood of Christ. Today we pause for a while and reflect over
those words of Christ which we repeat every Sunday we come together for
Mass: "Take and eat, this is
My body.... Take and drink, this is My blood." Before
Jesus left the world
His followers the
His Body and Blood in the form of bread and wine, as a way of continually
being present with them. He said,
"Those who eat My
flesh and drink My blood abide in Me, and I in them"
(John 6:56), showing that through this sacrament we can maintain our relationship, our
unity and our intimacy with Jesus.
He said, "My
flesh is true food and My blood is true drink"
(John 6:55), showing that just as food and drink are essential for life, so are the
and Blood of Christ in the form of bread and wine essential for
spiritual life. And
said, "Those who eat My flesh and drink
have eternal life, and I will raise them up on the last day"
(John 6:54), showing the supreme importance of this
sacrament not only for life with
on earth but for life with God in eternity. Since this
sacrament is so important in the
Christian life, it is fitting that on a day like this that is dedicated in a special way
to the Body and Blood of Christ,
we should (1)
give thanks for God's ever-abiding
manifested in this sacrament,
(2) resolve to receive this
sacrament more regularly and
worthily, and (3) if there is any thing that prevents us from receiving this
do everything possible to overcome the
obstacle and return to a life of
communion with the
Our Lord not say,
"Very truly, I tell you,
unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in you." (John 6:53)?
of Christ in
the form of bread and wine, is one of the greatest treasures of the
Mary Ann Seton, the first American saint, was an Episcopalian. On a
visit to Rome she could not find an Episcopalian church to attend on
Sunday so she went to a Catholic church.
There she was able to see the reverence
and piety with
which Catholics received holy communion.
She remarked the deep peace
and joy that
shone on their faces as they came back to their seats from the altar and
she saw that each and every one of them was radiating the conviction
that they had indeed received Our Lord
Jesus Christ. From then on her heart burned
with the desire to receive Our Lord
as these Catholics were doing. This led her to find her way to the
where she found the desire of her heart.
1885 John Henry
Newman as a professor in Oxford University was making up his mind to
join the Catholic Church.
His Anglican friends tried to dissuade him by reminding him that he was
going to lose his 75,000
a year teaching position. "75,000 a year?" replied Newman, "What is that to
one Holy Communion?"
These stories remind us of
God's sacramental presence
that we Catholics tend to take for granted. If any of us were careless
in approaching this sacrament,
today is a good day to open our eyes to the
mystery and rekindle
to Christ in
His Body and Blood.