Homily for the Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ Year A
Theme: The Mystery of the Eucharist
By: Fr. Cyril Unachukwu CCE
Homily for Sunday June 14 2020
God is forever with us and He is not only with us and in our midst, but goes further to make Himself available and accessible to us. He brings Himself nearest to us and makes Himself tangible that those who seek might find Him, and touch Him, and talk to Him, and listen to Him, and worship and adore Him, and receive Him as Spiritual Food inside of them and most especially enter into a communion of life with Him. This is the plenitude of gifts we have in the mystery of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ. May the power in the Body and Blood of Christ keep us safe from all evils and protect us from all dangers, especially the Pandemic of the Coronavirus; Amen.
The miracles of the Manna in the desert and the water from the rock remained indelible experiences for the people of Israel. These experiences not only reassured them of God’s presence in their midst and His love for them, but also became points of reference for their subsequent renewal of faith in the Lord, God of Israel. This was the case in the First Reading of today (Deut 8:2-3, 14-16) “remember how the Lord your God led you for forty years in the wilderness… who in this waterless place brought you water from the hardest rock; who in this wilderness fed you with manna that your fathers had not known.” The wilderness experience of the people of Israel, in varied ways, recapture our journey of life as human beings and as Christians, especially in this most difficult of times as a result of the Coronavirus Pandemic and other unfortunate human conditions that make life seem like an unbearable burden. In such wilderness, God sometimes seems to be far-off. But He is always there in the midst of His children. He never abandons those who place their trust in Him. This perennial divine presence was manifest in His interventions in the wilderness experience of the people of Israel and constantly throughout the history of the people of Israel. In the fullness of time, however, far more superior to all of the experiences of the past, God’s presence was made most palpable and concrete, through the mystery of the Incarnation of the Word, in the person of our Lord Jesus Christ, true God and true Man. All of His life and ministry were constant manifestations of God’s presence in the midst of His people as He went about doing good because God was with Him (Acts 10:38). To perpetuate this divine presence in the world, He left us the Sacrament of His Body and Blood, His Banquet of eternal love, as a Memorial of His Paschal Sacrifice on the Cross for our salvation, in which He is truly and substantially Present under the appearances of bread and wine.
The Sacrament of the Body and Blood of Christ is an ocean of life. It is the fountain of Spiritual nourishment and the abode of divine delights. It is an inexhaustible warehouse of love and communion. To have life is to have Christ within us and in us, for Christ is the fullness of life. This fullness of life is found in a most simple and mysterious manner in the Body and Blood of Christ. In His words to the crowd in the Gospel Reading of today (John 6:51-58), our Lord made this truth very clear to us also “I am the living bread which has come down from heaven. Anyone who eats this bread will live forever; and the bread that I shall give is my flesh, for the life of the world… For my flesh is real food and my blood is real drink.” In the Body and Blood of Christ, God made Himself so simple for us but still so deep; visible but most mysterious so that even “if senses fail to see, faith alone the true heart waketh to behold the mystery.” The Holy Eucharist, the Sacrament of the Body and Blood of Christ, is both the care and the cure of men and women always in need. It is both the source of life and its sustenance; especially in these trying times of increasing dangers to life. In His Body and Blood we receive the spiritual nourishment that helps us not just to groom the life we gratuitously received from God but also to nurture our identity as brothers and sisters and as members of God’s Household; for “the fact that there is only one loaf means that, though there are many of us, we form a single body because we all have a share in this one loaf” (I Cor 10:16-17).
As we daily face many threats to life coming to us in diverse ways, with faith and fidelity, we humbly turn to the very Fountain of all life, substantially present in the Body and Blood of Christ, that He may guard, guide and sustain us; Amen.
Happy Sunday; Fr Cyril CCE