A HOMILY FOR THE FEAST OF THE BODY AND BLOOD OF CHRIST – CYCLE “A” – 6/14/20 – SMG
+ Pax et Bonum! Peace and goodness to you this day!
Back in 1859, and no, I was not born yet, the French daredevil Charles Blondin became the first person to ever tightrope walk across Niagara Falls, without a safety net. Blondin would go on to do the amazing feat sixteen more times in his lifetime. And Blondin kept adding a variety of death-defying stunts to high-wire act: crossing with a sack over his head, crossing on stilts, crossing at night, crossing somersaulting and back flipping all the way, crossing carrying his agent on his back, and, my personal favorite, crossing the Falls carrying a stove on which he cooked an omelet, when he got halfway across. This is an amazing feat. Seventeen times that man walked across Niagara Falls on a tightrope. And it’s what we remember Charles Blondin for.
Today’s Feast Day, is about what and how we remember Jesus Christ. I guess Jesus could have walked across a tightrope, after all He did walk on the Sea of Galilee without a rope, but that’s not the important way that Jesus left us to remember Him. Instead, at the supper, on the night before He died, Jesus blessed and broke bread, and poured out wine, that would become the most amazing way that we have, of remembering Him, even two-thousand years later. This extraordinary gift, is the gift that keeps on giving, as it is given again and again to his followers, at every Mass ever offered. This Feast Day is given to us by the Church so that we don’t forget what an amazing thing we have and that we do, when we come to Mass. Maybe this year, especially, the Feast of the Body and Blood of the Christ, Corpus Christi, as it used to be called, all of us really need the reminder of what it is, that we receive when we come to Mass. Isn’t this exactly what so many of us have been missing for weeks this spring, when we couldn’t go to Communion? I mean, that prayer of Spiritual Communion is wonderful, but doesn’t it, and the not being able to receive Communion, really remind us of what a gift it is, to get to go to Communion! This is the way that Jesus chose to have us remember Him! This is the way that Jesus stays with His Church, and in our lives, and by our side, as we make our way through this world.
Here at Mass today, in our First Reading from Deuteronomy, we hear about how Moses had to remind the Israelites in his day, of what God had done for them to save them in the desert and to feed His people. We are just like the Israelites. And we do need to be reminded! Sometimes we have a very short memory. We grumble against God. We fail to be grateful. We get all wrapped up in what has God done for me lately, that we forget, the amazing gifts that God has given us, from our past. We need to remember. We can’t forget. Most especially, about the Eucharist. The story of the people of Israel in the desert is our story! Today, we too face unknown physical and spiritual dangers as we journey through our lives. Just as the manna kept the Israelites alive through their journey, so too does the Eucharist keep our souls alive in the desert of our earthly life. And the truth is, that we have so much more than just food for the journey. Jesus tells us in the Gospel today that “if we eat His flesh and drink His blood”, we will
remain in Him and Him in us. And He lead us to eternal life. The Eucharist, that we get to receive every time we come to Mass, leads us to Heaven. You wanna talk about a good reason for coming to Mass? This is the food for eternal life!
We remember a lot of different people, for a lot of different things, in many, many ways. We remember Charles Blondin for being a gifted tightrope walker, a daredevil that knew how to entertain. We remember Jesus with this meal, this food, as our God and Savior. May He help us to keep our balance, as we walk through this life!
+ May God bless us on this Feast Day, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit… AMEN !!!
St. Maria Goretti… Pray for us !!!