Homily June 22, 2014 Most Holy Body and Blood

Posted in christian, church events, Eucharist, inspirational, religion, scripture, Spirit by Fr Joe R on June 18, 2014

eucharist2Today we celebrate the Body and Blood of Christ. Throughout the celebration of Lent and the Easter cycle leading up to Pentecost, one thing we acknowledged but didn’t emphasize was the institution of the Eucharist on Holy Thursday. With Christ’s Death and Resurrection and Ascension and the sending of his Spirit to help us continue on his ministry, we forgot to recall and consider Christ’s words “ I’ll be with you until the end of time.” And so he is, for he has given us his special gift of his Eucharist, his very body and blood. Through this sacrament his physical presence remains always. It is in the form of food, food for a journey of faith.
In ancient times, sacrifice in their worship involved the killing of animals. It was their way of offering to God (or gods for those who believed in many) a share of their goods and good will to God. In their time and culture life in a living creature was centered in the blood for their perception was that blood was the most essential thing for life. So in their offering, they drained the blood of the animal on the altar and the animal was eaten and some of it was burned. eucharist5Thus we see here from Christ’s death the symbolism of the Eucharist of offering life and food. As the symbols of life and food, for blood he choose the form of wine and for food he chose the most common food of bread. These two were a common staple of ancient diets. But in choosing bread and wine, he did more by making them a special sign, a sacrament. At that last dinner with his disciples he gave them a food he had promised earlier in his ministry, his flesh and his blood. For us it is real food and real drink to help us on our journey through life.

Certainly, his Spirit is with us, and invigorates us, remains present and guides us individually and as a community but Christ himself remains truly present and real as food and drink to help as we struggle to walk through life with all its struggles and even the happy times too. We are not meant to stand in awe or fear of this food. While it is the body and blood of Christ, it is for us to help us and be with us day-to-day. Certainly, we respect and love and are grateful, yet this food is a sharing of Christ’s love and his never-ending presence in our lives. As human beings, we need to gather and eat and share our lives with those we love. So it is in the church, that we need to come together and share and eat and drink the special food Christ has given, His body and blood. Let us not forget that Chris himself chose the most common thing that all of us must do to bring himself eucharist 3ever closer and into our lives by giving us food and drink. While our celebrations through the centuries have come to look less like a dinner table and a family around it, lets not forget that it was at a dinner, a meal that he first gave us his body and blood on that evening before his death. This food is meant for all for all time and for as often as we can eat it, for who can ever satisfy the hunger that lies within us for our God?

So today as we share and celebrate and proclaim “All are welcome”, we are doing what Christ did by calling all to come and share at his table. His requirement was that a person listen and believe. As believers we are all one, one in him, hopefully listening and hearing him present in our lives in the Eucharist and in the Spirit. Christ said he would be with us always and he is, enlightening and moving us forward. As we move forward on this feast of the Body and Blood of Christ, and remember his presence, let us not forget the Words of God at Jesus’ baptism, “listen to Him”