SUNDAY 14TH JUNE 2020
SOLEMNITY OF THE BODY AND BLOOD OF JESUS CHRIST (CORPUS CHRISTI)
Deuteronomy 8:2-3,14-16, Psalm 147:12-15,19-20, 1 Corinthians 10:16-17, John 6:51-58
One of the most important things that humans cannot do without in this world is food. Our work every day and night is to be able to put food on our tables. During this Covid-19 pandemic, many who have suffered the most are those who even before the Corona era were already struggling to eat.
Last Sunday, we celebrated the solemnity of the Blessed Trinity. Among the persons of the Trinity, to Jesus is attributed the work of redemption, and he is with us in our weaknesses and needs. While he was here on earth, he also felt hungry and thirsty. He asked the samaritan woman for water to drink, he was thirsty on the cross, he ate and drank with his disciples. When the people were listening to his preaching, he knew that they were hungry, and he multiplied the few loaves of bread and fish to feed them.
The first reading of today reminds us how God led the people of Israel through the wilderness and fed them with manna when they were hungry. Human beings therefore need food to survive, and they work to achieve it.
The type of food we have described above is the food that comes and goes, food we eat just to have strength to work, it perishes and we pass them away.
The food that we celebrate today is not that which is perishable. Jesus tells us in John 6:27, not to work for food that perishes, but food that lasts forever. That food is the body and blood of Jesus Christ. Before his passion and death, Jesus gave his own body and blood as a spiritual food, and a sign of his saving presence among us. Just as we need ordinary food to have physical strength to work, we also need spiritual food to be able to live a good life.
Many people have given testimonies about the power of the Holy Eucharist, and many miracles have been worked. As a priest, I can never over emphasize the power of the Holy Eucharist which I celebrate every day.
St Paul tells us in the second reading of today, that the Holy Eucharist which we receive every day gives us communion with Christ our saviour, and brings all of us who receive it into the family of God.
Just as the Jews in the gospel reading could not understand or believe that Jesus is truly and fully present in the Eucharist, many people who are not Catholics, and even some Catholics whose faith are not firm, also doubt the real presence of Jesus in mere food and drink. As Jesus tells us in the gospel reading, his body is real food and his blood is real drink. When a validly ordained priest like myself prays over the ordinary food, it becomes the body and blood of Christ, and Jesus makes himself manifest among us.
We are therefore encouraged today to take the reception of the Holy Eucharist more serious in our lives. Try to always be in a state of grace so as to be able to receive Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament, so that you will receive more grace to live a good life. Spend more time with Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament where he is fully present, and tell him what you want him to do for you. He feeds us both physically and spiritually.
May the body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ keep us safe for eternal life. Amen.
God help us
Fr Michael Osatofoh Eninlejie MSP