The Body and Blood of Christ

Today we celebrate Christ’s greatest gift to mankind, the gift of His Body and Blood that we Catholics receive every time we go to mass (assuming we’re in a state of grace).  Jesus wanted to be a part of us and have us be a part of Him.  Since He knew that He must die for our sins and return to heaven, He left us several means to be with Him in spite of his physical absence.

First was the Church.  He said to Saint Peter at Caeserea Phillipi, “On this rock I will build My Church”.  That church continues to exist today with more than 1 billion members.

On Pentacost He left us the Holy Spirit, our advocate.  We receive this spirit at baptism, at confirmation, and in the anointing of the sick.  Priests and deacons receive the Spirit in the Sacrament of Holy Orders.He’s also available to us at any time and any place, waiting to answer our prayers and give us strength.

And He gave us the Eucharist.  In today’s Gospel He told the Jewish crowds that He was the Living Bread.  “Whoever eats this blood will live forever.”  It was at this point that many of his followers turned and walked away.  Many of our protestant brethren will say that Jesus was only speaking symbolically.  He didn’t really mean that His Flesh and Blood were real food and drink.  Even those who believed didn’t run up to Jesus and start gnawing on His arm.  What did He mean?

He tells us what He means at the Last Supper.  He holds up first the bread and then the wine and says “This is my body.”  and “This is my blood……Do this in memory of me.”  This was no “symbol”.  It was the real deal.  What He was saying was, “You eleven men, my Apostles, have the power to turn ordinary food and drink into my body and blood.”  As Nike would say, “Just Do It!”

My fellow Catholics, you and I have the opportunity to become one with the Body of Christ at each and every mass.  That’s what we celebrate today.

I have two questions for you to ask yourself.  Number one, do you appreciate the miracle that takes place at every mass?  Are you in awe of this amazing mystery that we celebrate in our presence.  Two, do you receive Christ’s Body and Blood with the reverence and joy it deserves and three (oops) When was the last time you invited someone to join you in this miraculous meal?

You know the right answers so you can score this little exam for yourself.  The scoring is simple.  If you got all three right you get an A.  Anything less, your faith could use some work.

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