All Praise and Honor Be To The Most Holy Sacrament
Readings: (1st: Gen 14, 18-20; Ps: 109, 1-4; 2nd: I Cor 11, 23-26 Gos: Lk 9, 11-17)
This brief reflection was written by Rev. Fr. Njoku Canice Chukwuemeka, C.S.Sp. He is a Catholic Priest and a Member of the Congregation of the Holy Ghost Fathers and Brothers (Spiritans). He is currently working with the Internacional Grupo Espiritano De Puerto Rico – Republica Dominicana. He is the Administrator of Parroquia La Resurrección del Senor, Canovanas and the Chancellor of the Diocesis of Fajardo-Humacao, Puerto Rico. For more details and comments contact him on: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org.
The solemnity of the Body and Blood of Christ (Corpus Christi), which the Church celebrates today reminds us all of the wonderful gift of God to us through Jesus Christ in the Blessed Sacrament. While the primary focus of this solemnity is on the spiritual nourishment that Christ gives us, its secondary focus is on the Body of Christ which is the Church.
The Body and Blood of Christ (Eucharist), is the most excellent of gift ever given to us by Christ. It also shows how much God loves and cares for both our temporal and spiritual welfare. Therefore, we celebrate today the sacramental presence of Christ in his Church.
Today, virtually all the readings touched one issue – giving or offering something. The first reading succinctly tells us that: “Abram offered Melchizedek a tithe of everything.” He did not give it with the intention of receiving something in return, but out of free will. Of course, Melchizedek blessed him, and offered thanks to God on his behalf with bread and wine. These were offerings of one’s self in the form of material items. In fact, Abram is a specialist in self donation as we see also in Gen 22, 1-18.
Today as ever before, Christ offers himself sacramentally to us to eat and drink as a way of expressing his unconditional love for us. He commands us: “Do this in memory of me!” Hence the church teaches us: “The command of Jesus to repeat his actions and words until he comes does not only ask us to remember Jesus and what he did. It is directed at the liturgical celebration, by the apostles and their successors, of the memorial of Christ (CCC 1341).
So, we re-live the experience. We truly eat His Body and drink His Blood. At another level also, “Do this in memory of me,” positions us to be ready to offer ourselves completely, and for the salvation of others as Christ did. So, when we re-live this experience, we are nourished spiritually for the purpose of offering ourselves too to others.
In the gospel, Jesus says to Andrew and his colleagues: “Give them something to eat!” Today also, Christ is asking us to offer something. For us who have been fed with the Body and Blood of Christ, we are not being asked to give what we do not have. Although our world is highly religious, there are many yet to be nourished by the Body and Blood of Christ.
So, when we draw them closer to Christ, we bring them to the banquet table of Christ who feeds and nourishes them with His body and blood. Therefore, we must be hospitable enough to help the weak, the spiritually hungry, and thirsty be comfortably seated in order to participate in the great feast of the Body and Blood of Christ.
Finally, today the solemnity of Corpus Christi, what Christ offers us is His Real Body and Blood, real food and real drink which is the core of our faith. In the Holy Eucharist, Christ draws us closer to himself. Christ is present with us in the Holy Eucharist as the head of the Church. So, today’s celebration provides us an opportunity to thank and adore Christ present in the Most Holy Sacrament. So let us adore Christ saying: O Sacrament Most Holy, all praises and all thanksgiving be unto you.
Peace be with you all!