Homily – June 23, 2019

St. Paul tells us that Jesus did not consider his equality with God as something to be clung to. He emptied himself of his divinity and took to himself our humanity, becoming as we all are. He became a slave to his father’s will being obedient, even unto death, even death on a cross.

On this feast of the Body and Blood of Christ we are awed by another expression of Jesus’ emptying – becoming a piece of bread, a small host, for our nourishment. Our celebration of the Eucharist is the most important religious thing we do; it is our act of thanksgiving, Eucharist means thanksgiving, for the passion, death and resurrection of Jesus, the event that restored our friendship with God.

When we receive that small white host on our tongue or in our hand we are receiving Christ, our bread of life.

Baptism is the most important of all Sacraments but the Eucharist is the greatest of the Sacrament. We receive the body and blood of Christ and this nourishment strengthens us to be more Christ-like in the living of our lives.

Paul’s description of the Last Supper came from a direct testimony of Jesus, because Paul was not present at the Last Supper, as he said, ‘I received it from the Lord.’

At every Mass Christ is received, the memory of his Passion is recalled and a pledge of future glory is given to us.

Every cultural has a stable food they use as a basis for survival; it is usually some form of bread. As Catholic Christians our stable food is Holy Communion as we receive Christ our bread of life. When we eat any food it becomes part of our body. When we receive Communion we become more like Jesus who gave us this promise; ‘ he who eats my flesh and drinks my blood live in me and I live in him and I will raise them up on the last day.’

Before communion we say the words, Lord I am not worthy that you should enter under my roof but only say the words and my soul shall be healed. None of us are worth to receive such a gift but all of us are needy.

The words of Pope Francis ring true for all of us; The Eucharist is not a prize for the perfect but a powerful medicine and nourishment for the weak.’ God know we are all weak. May we all accept Christ’s invitation- take and eat, take and drink – this is my body, this is my life given for you.

May we always be thankful for such this gracious gift.