The Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ - 3rd June, 2018

Liturgical Reflection

 
Exodus 24: 3-8; Heb 9:11-15; Mark 14:12-16, 22-26

 

The feast of Corpus Christi, the Body of Christ has many levels of meaning.

In some parishes, today will see children making their First Holy Communion.  Other parishes may have Benediction and processions focussing on the mystery of the Blessed Sacrament.

The reading from Exodus is about the covenant God made with the Jewish people led by Moses in the desert.  It was sealed by an animal sacrifice, with blood sprinkled on the people.  It linked words, action, promise and prayer.

 

The Church’s liturgy this Sunday also links Word, action, promise and prayer.The people said, ‘All that the Lord has spoken, we will do’.

The second reading, taken from Hebrews, connects Jesus’ sacrifice of his life to making a New Covenant between God and humankind.  This brings new life to a wider group.

The Gospel passage brings us to a new ritual.  No longer are there to be many animal sacrifices.  In this Passover meal we call the Last Supper, Jesus brings a new dimension.  There is to be one sacrifice – His own death.  The bread and wine of the traditional Passover meal take on a new significance.  We believe there is a transition – a living Presence of God in the bread to be eaten and the red wine ‘poured out’.

Food and drink are absorbed into the people who consume them.
This ‘living bread’ is a sign of new life within and a new covenant between God, Jesus and each communicant who is then absorbed, united with others into the ‘mystical’ Body of Christ.

Jesus in present in the scripture readings as the Word, in the Eucharist as the sacrament and in the people who become ‘other Christs’.

From Vatican II: ‘The most blessed Eucharist contains the Church’s entire spiritual wealth, that is, Christ himself, our Passover and living bread. Through his very flesh, made vital and vitalizing by the Holy Spirit, He offers life to all people. They are thereby invited and led to offer themselves, their labors, and all created things together with him’. (from Presbyterorum ordinis Ch II, I, para 5.
Abbott translation, p541).

Rose Mary Kinne op