Homily – June 14, 2020

For the past three months we’ve all been keeping, not by choice, a Eucharist fast. For our own safety we’ve been deprived of the bread of life. Today as church, as family, we celebrate the awesome feast of Corpus Christi – the Body and Blood of Christ. Baptism is the most important of all our sacraments but the Eucharist is the greatest. When we celebrate the Eucharist the memory of Christ’s passion is recalled, Christ is received and a pledge of future glory is given to us.

In today’s gospel Jesus makes startling this claim; I am the living bread come down from heaven..Unless you eat the flesh of the son of man and drink his blood you cannot have life within you… whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood lives in me and I live in them.

These words of Jesus shocked the people who heard them. ’How can this man give us his flesh to eat?’ This is a hard saying and who can take it and many of his disciples walked with him no more.

We believe that at this Mass, at every Mass, bread is no longer bread and wine is no longer wine, they are the body and blood of Christ. Christ, the Bread of life is our nourishment which supports and sustains us on our life’s journey.

The food that we eat every day, and the liquids we drink, becomes part of our bodies, sustaining us and allowing us to grow, function, and heal.

The food that is the body and blood of Christ does something far greater; it makes us one with Christ. “The one who feeds on my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me, and I in him.” We know bread is made from many grains of wheat, wine from many grapes. The many become one.

This is why the body and blood of Christ signify unity and peace: there is one Christ, and all who eat and drink the body and blood of Christ become one with Christ and with one another. As we sing in a favorite hymn, ‘we though many, through the earth we are one body in this one bread.’ The Eucharist is the sign of the unity of our Church. As a parish family our Sunday Mass is our family meal.

For weeks now we’ve had to observe social distancing. It’s been so difficult for so many. We can’t be with those we love; we can’t visit aging parents or visit sick relatives and friends. We can’t socialize. We’ve been deprived of our Sunday Mass. It has been hard on all of us.

Thankfully that is about to change. Next Sunday we can all be together for our Sunday Mass and be nourished by the Bread of life. We will be united with all the parishes in our Archdiocese, united with all the churches of the world, for we though many throughout the earth, we are one body in this one bread.

It will be great to be together again and be nourished by the body and blood of Christ.