“While they were eating, he took bread, said the blessing, broke it, gave it to them, and said, ‘Take it; this is My body.’ Then he took a cup, gave thanks, and gave it to them, and they all drank from it. He said to them, ‘This is My blood of the new covenant, which will be shed for many. Amen, I say to you, I shall not drink the fruit of the vine until the day when I drink it new in the kingdom of God. Then, after singing a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives.”
Although we may remember many moments in the life of Jesus, his words, His teaching, His miracles, His compassion for the needy and the poor, they have greater meaning when we consider what occurred in the Upper Room. We know the details the supper recalling the Passover of the people of Israel. But all this changed as the meal drew to a close. Did those gathered understand the significance of taking, blessing, thanking and giving, not just the contents on the plate or in the cup, but the one who was giving Himself?
We who share in the gift of the Eucharist, reflect on His desire to stay with us in such a special way. We are privileged to take the gift as we say ‘Amen.’ We approach the gift with reverence, we receive communion with deep faith, offer our own Eucharist, our thanks, and then bring Him with us. When I pass the tabernacle in St. Rose Church where the sacrament is reserved, I pause and thank Jesus that what He did was for me and all today.
“In the Bread of Life, the Lord comes to us, making himself a humble meal that lovingly heals our memory, wounded by life’s frantic pace of life. The Eucharist is the memorial of God’s love. There, ‘[Christ’s] sufferings are remembered’ and we recall God’s love for us, which gives us strength and support on our journey. This is why the Eucharistic commemoration does us so much good: It is not an abstract, cold and superficial memory, but a living remembrance that comforts us with God’s love. A memory that is both recollection and imitation” (Pope Francis, Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ, 2017).
As we celebrate today the Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ (Corpus Christi), let us give thanks for the gift of the Eucharist, the Bread of everlasting life! Have a good week and may God bless you and keep you always in His Love.
Listen to my homily today: (Posted after Mass)
Joyfully in the Lord,
Rev. Msgr. Edward J. Arnister
Pastor, St. Rose Parish