June 10, 2012 – The Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ
On the Feast of Corpus Christi, the Body and Blood of Christ, we contemplate the nature of the Eucharist. We reflect on the fact that we are invited to consume the literal body, blood, soul, and divinity of Jesus Christ. We reflect on the central role that the Eucharist plays in the life of the Church. In today’s readings, we focus on the sacrificial element of this great gift.
“This is the blood of the covenant,” Jesus tells us in today’s gospel, a phrase that is familiar to all of us, as we hear it time and again in the words of consecration at Mass. Christ offered Himself as the Sacrificial Lamb. He shed His blood once for all on the cross, and every time we celebrate the Mass, that sacrifice is re-presented to the Father for our sake. And then we step forward and partake of the blood that was shed; we participate in the sacrifice as we consume Christ’s body and blood.
It is our responsibility as Christ’s disciples to not only consume His body and blood, but to participate in His sacrifice by offering ourselves to the Father. Sure, we aren’t shedding our blood (most of us aren’t, anyway), but we are to offer ourselves as a sacrifice, uniting ourselves with Christ on the cross. We give the Lord all that we have and all that we are telling Him, as the Israelites in the first reading proclaim, “We will do all that the Lord has told us.” And then, when we receive the Eucharist, recognizing that it is Christ’s actual body and blood, our “Amen” response resounds from our hearts. For, just as Christ gave Himself – whole and entire – on the cross, we, as Christian stewards, offer ourselves each and every day, at each and every Mass, completely, to the Lord.