Corpus Christi C: June 19, 2022
Luke 9: 11b-17
Fr. John Tran
We celebrate today the lasting presence of Jesus Christ in his church, a great and monumental event. And yet, isn’t it strange that so often Jesus did this with things, not to mention people, which were not monumental at all, but small insignificant and ordinary; however, they turn out to be extraordinary. First, Jesus is born in a small, unimportant town called Bethlehem in a manger, a feed trough for animals: and this town and feed trough become the birthplace of God. Ordinary water at Cana become a fine wine; grains of wheat and mustard seeds are signs of God’s Kingdom. And in today’s gospel from Luke, a rather simple picnic lunch for a few becomes a meal for thousands.
It is very appropriate theme for celebrating the Body and Blood of Christ, because what is the Eucharist, if not turning the ordinary into the extraordinary? We know that eating and drinking, bread and wine, are common elements of daily life. And yet, in the Eucharist, these same ordinary things are transformed into something most extraordinary: the very Body and Blood of Christ.
The truly amazing thing is it does not end there. To have the Body and Blood of the Lord present among us would be enough. But in the Eucharist, it is not only the bread and wine that become the Body and Blood of Christ: so do you and I. We certainly are ordinary and unassuming people, yet God loves us so much that when we eat the Body of Christ and drink His Blood, we are transformed, each one of us, into the very presence of Christ in our world today.
Since we now celebrate both the Body and Blood of Christ in one feast, one spiritual writer as suggested that we are called to be Jesus’ Body in this world, but not his Blood. The Body of Christ is what we are to become; drinking deeply of the cup is how we become it - by pouring ourselves out for others. So, in a sense, you become what you eat, but do so also by drinking the cup of the covenant in Christ’s Blood.
As we go forth to love and serve the Lord, it is necessary for our lives as Christians, that we always remember that each of us has become the Body of Christ for all whom we meet to be poured out for the many. When we leave Mass, the Eucharist does not end at all; it is just beginning.