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Friday, 8 June 2012

Reflection/Homily: Solemnity of the Body and Blood of Christ Year B (June 10 2012)

Theme: The Cleansing Power of the Eucharist
Some foreigners in a certain land disobeyed the laws of the land and were put into prison before they would be executed. They requested to see the king to plead for amnesty. On hearing their request, the king decided to visit them in prison. In his simplicity, he wore ordinary clothes but unfortunately the foreigners could not recognize him because they had not known him previously. They ignored him when he introduced himself to them as the king because they expected to see a man in royal outfit. Unfortunately, the king left them without any favour because they could not value him. He seemed to be too casual but he preferred simplicity so as to be approachable.

Often times, we experience this kind of situation when we meet important people, at other times something of value before us because we are familiar with it or because it in presented in ordinary form. That is why today, the church wants us to re-evaluate our value for the Holy Eucharist through this solemnity of the body and blood of Christ. Unlike on Holy Thursday when we reflect on the Eucharist, priesthood and love, today our attention will be focused only on the Eucharist precisely on its cleansing power.

The Holy Eucharist is the sacrament of the blood, soul and divinity of our Lord Jesus Christ under the appearance of bread and wine. The theology of the Holy Eucharist regards it not just as sacred but as the real presence of our Lord Jesus Christ in all His fullness. Our concern is not on the theology of the Holy Eucharist but on its implications for us.

The Holy Eucharist is the body and blood of Christ. In the first reading (Exodus 24: 3 – 8) we see the relevance of blood in a covenant. Moses used the blood of animals as a sign and seal of the covenant God made with lsrael. The covenant would be incomplete without the blood of those animals.

Today, we are living not on the old covenant but on the new covenant and one of the differences between the old covenant and the new covenant is the victim of the oblation. In the old covenant animals were the victims but in the new covenant, Jesus became the victim using his own blood as the seal of the covenant. Thus, the Eucharist is both a sign and symbol of the covenant. It liberates us from the law and allows us to live in the grace and love of God.

However, the relevance of the blood of Jesus Christ in the new covenant is its cleansing power. It cleanses us from sin. Thus, each time we encounter the blood of Christ in the Eucharist, we are cleansed of our sins. Of course the catechism teaches us that the reception of the Holy Eucharist worthily cleanses us of our sins. The Eucharist is also able to cleanse us of our fears, troubles, tribulations, worries, sicknesses and problems if we approach it with reverence. The second reading (Heb 9: 11-15) assures us of this.

The gospel reading (Mk 14:12-16, 22-26) reminds us of the institution of the most Holy Eucharist and assures us of its sameness with Christ who is God. Jesus at his last supper instituted the Holy Eucharist by changing bread and wine to his body and blood. Through the Eucharist, he fulfills his promise to be with us until the end of time.

Beloved friends, today the church wants you to go home with the consciousness of the Holy Eucharist. Do not forget that in it you will find cleansing for your spiritual and temporal problems. Perhaps you have been searching for God like those foreigners or waiting to encounter Him, either for mercy or for a favour. Do you realize that the King of Kings is patiently waiting for you in the Holy Eucharist? Do not ignore him in the Eucharist now that you know, else you lose his favour.

You can encounter Him through adoration and reception. Jesus is waiting for you in the tabernacle and in the exposed monstrance to listen to you. Why not find him there today? He is also waiting for you in the mass to come into you. Remember that in Rev. 3:20, he says he is waiting for you at the door of your heart knocking, if you open your heart, he will come and dine with you. Why not confess that sin that has locked your heart so that you can receive the holy communion.

If you think you are over burdened and worried with life, Jesus invites you to himself today through the Eucharist. When you encounter him in the Holy Eucharist allow him to transform you. Allow him to change you so that all who see you will see Christ in you. God loves you.

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