06.22.2014. The Feast of Corpus Christi. By Reverend Andrew C. Smith, Jr.

Good morning Holy Angels,

Today we celebrate the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ (feast of Corpus Christi).

In the Gospel passage today Jesus is really explaining what takes place during the Last Supper and every Mass. It is another take on the Last Supper, looking at the Last Supper from another angle so that we get a fuller understanding.

In order to arrive at a better understanding of the Eucharist we need to ask why Jesus gave us this sacrament in the first place. A closer reading of today's gospel or, better still, the whole of the Eucharistic discourse in John 6 from which it is taken provides useful answers. From the reading we find that there are two main reasons Jesus gave us this sacrament. (1) Jesus promised to be with us until the end of time (Matthew 28:20). In the Eucharist he provides a visible sign and an effective means of him being present to us and us being present to him.

As Jesus himself said, “Those who eat my flesh and drink my blood abide in me, and I in them.” (2) Jesus said that he came that we may have life and have it to the full (John 10:10). In the Eucharist he provides a visible means of communicating this life to us so that we can be fully alive both in this world and in the next. As Jesus said, “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. Those who eat my flesh and drink my blood have eternal life, and I will raise them up on the last day” (John 6:53-54).

The Eucharist lies at the heart of our lives as Catholics – this act of remembrance. Recalling and reliving this sacred moment, and cherishing what it means. What Christ offered us at the Last Supper – his body and blood – is his greatest tangible gift to the world. That is what we celebrate on this feast, Corpus Christi: the body and blood of Jesus Christ.

This feast is the last great Sunday celebration until November, when we mark the feast of Christ the King and prepare to begin Advent. This holy day, I think, is meant to nourish us through Ordinary Time the way the bread of life nourishes us – it is a kind of liturgical viaticum, food for the journey.

Each time we celebrate the Eucharist, we not only proclaim Christ's Suffering, Death and Resurrection.

We proclaim that Jesus Christ is the Way, the Truth and the Life of the World. On this Solemnity of the Body of Christ we are summoned to deepen our faith in the Lord, present in the Eucharist, and acting through his Sacraments.

May Jesus in the Eucharist always be the very center and heart of our church, the center and heart of our faith, the center and heart of our parish, and the center and heart of the lives of each of us.
Christ’s peace,

Fr. Drew