Body and Blood of Christ

A HOMILY FOR THE FEAST OF THE BODY AND BLOOD OF CHRIST–CYCLE “B” – 6/7/15 –SMG

+  Pax et Bonum!  Peace and goodness to you this day!

Today, we have so many different ways of remembering people.  And remembering people is important for us to do.  People come in and out of our lives in so many different ways.  We go to school with some people for awhile.  We work with some people for awhile.   We live next door to some people for awhile.  And then of course, there are those people who are much closer to us, and much more part of our lives, who die, and are gone from our lives for awhile.  And in all of these cases, with people coming and going, so many times we want to remember the special people.  And one of our primary means today of remembering people is we take pictures.  We have photographs; at least that’s what we used to call them.  Now, in this digital age, where we can take a picture with our watch, we can even carry them all around with us on our phones and laptops.  We don’t just carry pictures.  We carry memories of people who were once a part of our lives.  One very specific way that I have of remembering one of my favorite great aunts, is her perfume.  My great Aunt wore lots of Chanel perfume.  She reeked of it!  And of course, everybody in our family bought it for her for her birthday and Christmas, so she had gallons of the stuff.  And she used it by the gallons!  I can one whiff of that Chanel perfume, and I start looking for my great Aunt, who’s been dead for several years.  Then, we remember some people with monuments. I suppose that the more important people get monuments.  Oh, we might all get a tombstone, but Presidents, and Popes, and Governors, Renaissance artists, and movie stars, get monuments!  We remember in a lot of different ways.

Jesus chose to be remembered with a meal, with food.  Now, this was not because He was Italian, because He was not.  But don’t tell the Italians that.   Jesus chose to be remembered with a meal, because it was the same way that God wanted the Passover to be remembered and celebrated.  The Passover meal, with its roasted lamb, and unleavened bread, and bitter herbs, and wine, maybe isn’t the way that we would have chosen to remember the Passover, but it was what God commanded the Jewish people to do.  With that background, it became a very natural progression for Jesus and the Christians to also remember what God had done through His Son, Jesus Christ, with Bread and Wine, taken right out of the Passover meal.  This meal, this Eucharist, becomes our connection then to Jesus and to what He has done for each and every one of us!  And on this Feast Day, the Feast of the Holy Body and Blood of Christ, or what we used to call Corpus Christi, we celebrate this extraordinary gift, this remembrance, this monument to Christ’s love and promise to be with us always.

My brothers and sisters, we need this gift.  We need the Eucharist in our lives, so that we never forget Jesus and what He has done for us.  You know, as Catholic Christians, we can be pretty good at remembering.  Each year, we have First Holy Communion for our second graders.  And that’s a great reminder of how special this gift is.  I’ve always thought that every Catholic should be required to come to First Communion each year, just to see the children’s faces when they make their First Communion.  We can’t forget that experience, that feeling, that encounter with Jesus for the first time.  It should never become routine.  And yet, we know that it does.  We walk down this aisle every week to receive the Body and Blood of Jesus.  And sometimes we do forget!  There’s also Holy Thursday evening, the Mass of the Lord’s Supper.  It is a very powerful reminder of how important the Eucharist really is.  And yet, many Catholics have never been to Mass on Holy Thursday.  It is not a Holy Day of Obligation.  And they miss out.  And they forget.  And this Feast Day today is about NOT forgetting, and NOT losing sight of this gift that God has given us!

God could have chosen any number of ways for us to remember Him.  He could have given us a picture.  He could have given us a strong scent or perfume.  He could have had us build a huge monument to what He came to teach us.  Instead, Jesus chose a meal.  Bread and Wine transformed into the Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity, of Himself for all time.  Let us always take advantage of this Gift.  May we use it to remember!  And may use it to stay connected to God Who wants us to be at His banquet feast of Heaven forever!

+  May God bless us on this great Feast,  Father, Son, and Holy Spirit…                  AMEN !!!

St. Maria Goretti…        Pray for us !!!