Today we celebrate an auspicious Feast: that of the Most Precious Body and Blood of Christ.
St John records an event in which Jesus explains that his followers must eat his body and blood. His message is no easier to understand now than it was then. Indeed, John recalls that many followers then left Jesus.
We, however, have not left him. 2000 years later, we assemble at Mass to eat his body and blood. For us, this is no mere representation, but through the action of the priest the bread and wine become the actual body and blood of Jesus. This is what we believe.
Mass, then, affords us not only a meeting place with Jesus, but a total submersion into him. We have the most incredible opportunity, each week, to approach Jesus in sacramental form. Do we seize that opportunity? What do we think of Mass? Do we truly use it as an extraordinary encounter with God?
These questions are for all of us, whoever we are. And today’s feast is a wonderful signpost back to Jesus, back to a fuller appreciation of Mass, back to a better faith in which we believe despite unlikelihoods.
Let us come to Jesus today, and give of ourselves just as he gives of himself. Let us live our faith and seize each opportunity at Mass to encounter Jesus.
The Lord be with you
And with your spirit.
A reading from the Gospel according to John 6:51-58
Glory to you, O Lord
Jesus said to the Jews:
I am the living bread which has come down from heaven. Anyone who eats this bread will live for ever; and the bread that I shall give is my flesh, for the life of the world.’
Then the Jews started arguing with one another: ‘How can this man give us his flesh to eat?‘ they said.
I tell you most solemnly,if you do not eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood,
you will not have life in you.
Anyone who does eat my flesh and drink my blood has eternal life,
and I shall raise him up on the last day.
For my flesh is real food and my blood is real drink.
He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood lives in me and I live in him.
As I, who am sent by the living Father, myself draw life from the Father,
so whoever eats me will draw life from me.
This is the bread come down from heaven; not like the bread our ancestors ate:
they are dead, but anyone who eats this bread will live for ever.’
The Gospel of the Lord
Praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ.