Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ
We have been delightfully treated with entertaining movies – like Star Wars, X-Men, Avengers, and other super-hero movies – that all deal with supernatural or mutant powers. Powers to be superhuman, to be invisible, to be invulnerable… powers to fly, to mimic, to heal, to time-travel… powers of telepathy, of control over matters, of night vision, etc.
I am sure all of us, at one time or another, wished that we had mutant powers. We must realize that every time we participate in the celebration of the Eucharist and receive Christ’s Body and Blood we receive the greatest power that we can have. We have real power: We have Jesus’ power.
We might not have the power to change people as we want them to be, but we have the power to change and transform ourselves by responding to the call to constant conversion and renewal. We do not have the power to fly like Superman, but we have the power to lift up ourselves by thinking lovely thoughts (as Peter Pan says). We can never have the power to read and control the minds of people, but we have the power to challenge them to be better persons by giving good examples and by being role models to others. We do not have the power to teleport (transfer things instantaneously), but we have the power to bring the loving presence of Christ by becoming a visible sign of his love to people around us. We can never have the indestructible body of Wolverine, but we have the power to be indestructible by having faith and trust in God, no matter what. We just have to let Jesus empower us in these ways, by receiving Jesus in the Eucharist, his Body and Blood.
We celebrate the Solemnity of the Body and Blood of Christ. This feast actually celebrates the Eucharist. The feast of Corpus Christi celebrates the love of Jesus who gives us his Body to eat and his Blood to drink.
It is very important to see and understand the Eucharist in this way: that by worthily celebrating and actively participating in the Mass, and by receiving the Body and Blood of Christ with faith, we receive the power we need to be like Jesus and follow him, to live according to his ways and to do what he did. We receive the power to perform our mission, to be good news to others, and to serve the needy. We receive the power to be kind and generous, to be patient and gentle, to be humble and forgiving, to be faithful and constant in love. Are these the powers we truly desire?
By receiving the bread and wine that have become the Body and Blood of Christ, the Church itself is transformed as the Body of Christ on earth. St. Teresa of Avila, the great mystic, maintains that “Christ has no body now on earth but yours, no hands but yours, no feet but yours.” Mother Teresa elaborates on this by adding, “Yours are the eyes through which he is to look out to the world with compassion. Yours are the feet with which he is to go out doing good. Yours are the hands with which he is to bless now.” We are called as Christians, as members of the Body of Christ, to do in our day what Jesus did in his time: to proclaim good news to the poor, to feed the hungry, to clothe the naked, to heal the sick, to comfort the afflicted.
As we celebrate Corpus Christi, it is important to be reminded of the words of St. Augustine – and take them to heart: “We become what we worthily receive in the Eucharist.” We, who celebrate and receive the Eucharist, just like the bread and wine, are substantially transformed into the Body and Blood of Christ. Thus, Jesus’ thoughts are to be our thoughts. His feelings are to be our feelings. His words are to be our words. His attitude of doing things according to the Father’s will is to be our attitude. Every time we participate in the Eucharistic celebration, every time we receive the Body and Blood of Christ, we must be transformed into Christ. We must become the Body of Christ.
In the midst of this pandemic and the crises it has caused, we must allow the Eucharist to give us the power to deal with our circumstances always remembering that God is with us and his love will see us through. The power to have confidence in the divine providence. The power to hear the Good News amidst the bad news and fake news we are bombarded with everyday. The power to respond to the needs of our sisters and brothers and be the face of God’s mercy and compassion to them.
Corpus Christi is a call to commitment: that is, to make present, here and now, Christ’s self-giving love by actively sharing in his saving sacrifice. It is a call to share our lives… to give ourselves and become the Body and Blood of Christ for others.