A HOMILY FOR THE FEAST OF CORPUS CHRISTI – CYCLE “C” – JUNE 23RD, 2019 – SMG
+ Pax et Bonum! Peace and goodness to you this day!
Every family has its favorite food traditions. Maybe it’s that dish or specialty that your grandmother used to make, or your great aunt, or your Godfather, or your brother, or cousin. They are the foods that you can’t imagine a celebration with them. If you’re German, maybe it’s your Aunt’s schnitzel. If you’re Mexican, maybe it’s your grandmother’s tamales. If you’re Italian, it’s got to be your grandmother’s ravioli or gnocchi. If you’re Chinese, it might be your family’s chow mein. If you’re Filipino, it’s got to be Pork Humba, a kind of spicy pork stew. If you’re Indian, not Native American, but from India, it might be Tandoori chicken. It might be your Uncle’s wine, or your Mom’s apple pie, or your Dad’s pancakes. Am I making you hungry yet? It could be anything! Every family has their own traditions, and foods, and favorites, and they all become part of our lives. This happens so much so, that many times in families, members want to get the recipes right. They want to make sure that someone in future generations knows how to make the family favorites, even after grandma dies, or Mom can’t cook, or Aunt Teresa doesn’t remember. Food and memories are very closely tied together. The taste and smell of certain foods take us back, and help us to remember, and make the experience that much richer for all of us.
Maybe that’s why, Jesus chose to give us His Body and Blood, the extraordinary gift of the Holy Eucharist, during one of the most famous meals of the year, for Jewish people, the Passover meal. He took the two, most common elements of the Passover meal, bread and wine, and He gave us for all time, the gift of His Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity! He gave us Himself. And this is the ultimate going away present, because even as Jesus leaves us in this world, He gives us the gift of Himself to remain with us, and to feed and nourish us, as we pass through this life!!! This gift of the Eucharist is the most amazing thing! Every time we go to Mass, we can receive Him! We can be strengthened! We can be built back up! That’s the reason why we should be going to Mass as often as we can! We can’t even begin to understand just how much we really are getting out of the Mass, even when we don’t feel it, or can’t tell it. And even when we can’t receive Him, when Mass is NOT going on, we can still pray in front of the Eucharist in Eucharistic Adoration, and we receive His grace and love in ways that we can’t even begin to imagine to comprehend! No, God knew exactly what He was doing when He gave us the Eucharist. It is the perfect going away gift. And all of us, well we get to receive It today!
The Feast of Corpus Christi reminds all of us that the Holy Eucharist IS our Church food. I know some of you thought it was penne alla vodka and lemoncello, but no, you’re wrong. This is the food that is going to help us to get to eternal life! Last year, I asked one of our fourth graders about what is the food, that keep the Church strong, and helps us to keep following Jesus? And he said, “Coffee and donuts!?!” It’s not coffee and donuts either. Penne all Vodka is great, but it won’t get us home to Heaven! This is our two-thousand year old tradition of the food that keeps our family the Church together and on track, and that nourishes our souls. As
Porsche, the sport’s car company used to say, “There is no substitute.”
God has always been using food to take care of His people, to help His Church. The gift of the Eucharist is pre-figured in the Feeding of the Five Thousand, or the story of the multiplication of the Loaves and Fishes. This most famous of all of Jesus’ miracles shows up in ALL FOUR of the Gospel texts. And even before the Last Supper, God is feeding His people and getting them for a meal that will satisfy them, for all eternity. God doesn’t leave His people hungry. He takes care of us, He takes care of our needs! Physical and Spiritual!
Today, and at every Mass, and in every Adoration Chapel, Jesus meets our needs by giving us His total and unconditional love. Today we see why the Church calls the Eucharist “the Source and the Summit” of our Faith. It is the “source” because Jesus is the very source of our Faith. And it is the “summit” because the Eucharist takes us to the highest level of sharing in Jesus’ resurrection and life!
And that is something to celebrate today! Let us live always with the strength and nourishment of this food! And may all of us keep this tradition alive in our lives, and most especially in our families! For Catholic families, the Eucharist is our specialty!
+ May God bless us today on this Feast Day, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit… AMEN !!!
St. Maria Goretti… Pray for us !!!