It is 14th June 2020. We are celebrating the Solemnity of the Body and Blood of Christ (Corpus Christi). The readings are from Deuteronomy 8:2-3, 14-16; the second reading is from 1Corinthians 10:16-17; and the Gospel from John 6:51-58. The Most Holy Eucharist is the heart of the mystery of the Church. The promise Jesus gave us all, “I am with you always, to the close of the age” (Mt 28:20) is materialized in the Eucharist. “For the most holy Eucharist contains the Church’s entire spiritual wealth: Christ himself, our Passover and living bread. Through his own flesh, now made living and life-giving by the Holy Spirit, he offers life to men”. (Presbyterorum Ordinis, 5.) “They devoted themselves to the Apostles’ teaching and fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers” (Acts. 2:42). The Church draws her life from Christ in the Eucharist; by him she is fed and by him she is enlightened. The Eucharist is both a mystery of faith and a “mystery of light”. (Rosarium Virginis Mariae, 21). Eucharist is not only the memorial but a meal that sustains our entire being. “Unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life within you” (Jn 6:53). “My flesh is food indeed, and my blood is drink indeed” (Jn 6:55). When the genuine hunger for the Eucharist dies, our faith in the Lord dwindles and disappears gradually and surely. “In the Eucharist we have Jesus, we have his redemptive sacrifice, we have his resurrection, we have the gift of the Holy Spirit, we have adoration, obedience and love of the Father.” (Ecclesia De Eucharistia, 60)
More than ever during this pandemic, the celebration of the Most Holy Eucharist has a profound significance as the faithful are not having the access to the Body and Blood of Christ. This never happened in the past and we pray that this never repeats in our life and our children’s life time again.
It is the memorial, the sacrifice, the sacrament that nourishes our inner life with God and renders the energy to care for the suffering humanity. As we do not have the sacramental access to the Most Holy Eucharist, we need to be strengthened by the mystical union with Body of Christ the Church.
As we truly miss the Lord sacramentally for the past three months, our longings to have Him grown warmer by our caring, loving and forgiving acts we show people around starting from our immediate family to the extended family the Church and the community. The Eucharist is not private but is always celebrated with the community. Online streaming of Holy Mass and adoration are not ideal and it is dangerous to our faith admonished by His holiness Pope Francis. The absence of Mass in the community has awaken a new and renewed vigor and longing for the real and ideal presence of Christ in the Eucharist. The Sacrifice of the Lord must not be spiritualized and sacramentalized to the extreme during this tough time during covid-19 pandemic rather we need to translate the spirit of the Eucharist through our charitable works and actions starting from our families to the community.
True presence of the Lord in the host we believe and profess so dearly is tangibly experienced in every human being even if they do not accept and profess God. The Eucharist is the proof of God’s abiding presence through His Son Jesus in our hearts, lives, and those little tabernacles of God.
St. Irenaeus taught us, ““The Word of God becomes the Eucharist, which is the body and blood of Christ.” St. Ignatius, defined the Eucharistic Bread as a “medicine of immortality, an antidote to death.” St. Bonaventure declares: “There is no difficulty over Christ’s being present in the sacrament as in a sign; the great difficulty is in the fact that He is really in the sacrament, as He is in heaven. And so, believing this is especially meritorious.” St. Ambrose insisted: “Let us be assured that this is not what nature formed but what the blessing has consecrated; and there is greater power in the blessing and in nature, since nature itself is changed through the blessing.”
The first reading promises God’s love for us in times of challenges, “God fed you in the wilderness with manna, a food unknown to your ancestors, that he might afflict you and test you, but also make you prosperous in the end.” (Deut.8:3). God assures God’s mercy through obeying the Word in consuming it and assimilating through our life. “The living bread which came down from heaven; if any one eats of this bread, he will live forever; and the bread which I shall give for the life of the world is my flesh. Unless you eat the flesh of the Son of man and drink his blood, you have no life in you (John 6:51,53).
In the second reading, St. Paul insists that the believing community is strengthened by this One Bread. It is the Eucharist that brings unity in this communitarian witnessing of love. Jesus invites us to continue nourishing our lives with the Bread of life. “This is the bread that came down from heaven. Unlike your ancestors who ate and still died, whoever eats this bread will live forever.” (Jn.6:58). May we always long for the Eucharist that offers the spiritual energy to meet God in the Word, the World and the Work. May you have a good day. God bless you.

Leave a Comment