Corpus Christi – Year A
Gospel: John 6:51-58
I am the living bread that came down from heaven. Whoever eats of this bread will live forever; and the bread that I will give for the life of the world is my flesh.”
The Jews then disputed among themselves, saying, “How can this man give us his flesh to eat?” So Jesus said to them, “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; for my flesh is true food and my blood is true drink. Those who eat my flesh and drink my blood abide in me, and I in them. Just as the living Father sent me, and I live because of the Father, so whoever eats me will live because of me. This is the bread that came down from heaven, not like that which your ancestors ate, and they died. But the one who eats this bread will live forever.”
Fr. Sam Davey…
One day I went into the Church with a Muslim friend. I was showing him the Church and people were coming and going in front of the tabernacle to do various tasks. My friend turned to me and said ‘You know Sam, this is why I could never believe what you believe; that God is present in that gold box at the back of the Church’. I said to him, ‘why not?’, and he turned to me and said ‘because if I believed God was truly present in front of me, I would be crawling on my hands and knees.’
The feast of the Body and Blood of Christ is one of the most precious feasts in the life of the Church. It is a gentle reminder of all our saviour has given us. The word Eucharist itself means ‘Thanksgiving’. It is the most incredible gift we have ever been given.
Sadly, at this point in the Churches history, the Eucharist is often taken for granted. Many claim the ‘right’ to it without preparing themselves through confession. The truth is that none of us have the ‘right’ – It is a gift.
Horrifically, the Body and Blood of Christ is often referred to as ‘the bread’ or ‘the wine’. It is the actual Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus Christ. Each spec, each small particle contains within it the equal dignity and rank of the eternal Godhead, something so precious, countless martyrs and saints have shed their blood for it before us. We can never understand what the Eucharist is fully, but we can express our gratitude and respect in the way we approach and receive this incredible gift.
Brant Pitre, in his book ‘Jesus and the Jewish Roots of the Eucharist’ pointed out that there are only two places in the Bible where the phrase “eat and live forever” occur, in Genesis 3 and in John 6. It had never occurred to me before to look at Genesis 3 to think about the Lord’s Supper. I had never considered any connections there. But in this quote from Derek Kidner we can see the connection:
“She (Eve) took … and ate: so simple the act, so hard its undoing. God will taste poverty and death before ‘take and eat’ become verbs of salvation.” – (Derek Kidner, ‘Genesis’ 73).
What an eye-opener that was!
The very act of eating in the Garden of Eden led the whole human race into sin. But it is also with the act of eating that God invites us back into relationship with Him. Jesus took the bread, gave it to His disciples, and invited them to eat, for “this is My body.”
Eating ushered us into sin, and eating reintroduces us to the fellowship of God.
Thought for the week…
How do I approach and receive Jesus in the Holy Eucharist?
Help me understand that you are truly present in the Eucharist.
Thank You, I love you Jesus, Amen.