Homily for the Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ Year A
Theme: The Eucharist
By: Fr. Benny Tuazon
Homily for Sunday June 14 2020
(Jn. 6:51-58) Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ, Corpus Christi
In today’s Gospel Jesus gives the Bread of Life discourse to His disciples. It was not a symbolism teaching when He told His listeners that He is the bread of life and He offers His body to be eaten. Then, it was hard to accept. Jesus was accused of turning them into cannibals by asking them to do so. Now, we are able to accept it for we receive Jesus’ body in the Eucharist. But we should not be misled. Jesus meant to give Himself for our salvation. It entails, not merely receiving Him physically, but accepting His friendship and Lordship. It was God’s ultimate expression of His love for us. This is the reason and meaning of today’s solemnity. Our profession of the reality and truth of Jesus’ Body and Blood in the Eucharist is our expression of recognition of God’s love.
We had heard the first reading. It was a recounting of what God had done to us. From freeing our ancestors from the slavery in Egypt, to providing them food, manna, from heaven, water to quench their thirst, saving them from the serpents while journeying in the desert to the arrival at the Promise Land. The Israelites were mistaken in thinking and feeling they were forsaken after leaving Egypt.
Then, we couple this with the second reading where St. Paul, in his first letter to the Corinthians ask the early Christians if the cup they blessed and the bread they break were not participation in Jesus’ blood and body? Participation here means friendship with the Lord. When we are invited to seat at table with Him i.e., break bread and bless the cup of wine, we establish a close relationship with Him. And as He said in the washing of the feet, we are His friends and, for Jesus, a friend is willing to give His life for his friend. Indeed, at the proper time, Jesus died on the cross for us, His friends. Such is the kind of friendship Jesus had for us. Remember, too, that since creation, we were created in God’s image and likeness. That is another testimony to how much God loves us and who we are to Him.
And the friendship does not end. The loving continues in the Eucharist. God is so consistent. He sent His Son to personally attend to our salvation. In Spirit, He continues to be with us. Thus, we believe that in the Eucharist, the bread and wine become His Body and Blood and are not mere symbols. God, in the Spirit, and in Jesus Christ, offers Himself to us to be eaten and drank.
It is a sustained offering of love. The question is, do we respond to Him with love? If we do, we have to begin by receiving Him in faith in His table. It is for this reason that we are required to confess and be reconciled to God before we receive Him in communion. For how can we receive Him and relate with Him as a friend if we are in sin? True and authentic respect to the celebration and reception of the Eucharist need a reconciled soul.
We rejoice and are thankful for this feast and reality. We thank God for His everlasting and unconditional love. He did it in Jesus Christ. He sustained it in the sacarament of the Body and Blood, the Eucharist.