YEAR B: HOMILY FOR THE SOLEMNITY OF THE MOST HOLY BODY AND BLOOD OF CHRIST
HOMILY THEME: EAT AND LIVE
BY: Fr. Christian Eze
First reading – Ex. 24:3-8
Second reading – Heb. 9:11-15
Gospel – Mk. 14:12-16,22-26
It is very painful that false doctrines have swept many into believing that the Eucharist is not the body and blood of Christ. To such people, it is meaningless, and as such, not worth receiving. But if we recall the event of the last supper in Matt. 26:26, Jesus Himself took a piece of bread and proclaimed that the same bread, after He had given thanks, and same with the chalice filled with the fruit of the vine, were no longer bread and wine, rather, His same body that would be given up, and His same blood that would be poured out for the remission of sins. Are the words of Jesus not true? Or do unbelievers in the Eucharist just chose to be stubborn by refusing to believe it? You may also ask why we must receive it daily. Jesus gave two commands in this event of instituting the Eucharist.
Take these all of you and eat/drink of it – Matt. 26:26,28
Do this in memory of me – Lk. 22:19 The second is as important as the first. It means that as often as we celebrate and partake of the Eucharist, we recall what Jesus did for us. Moses urged the people today: “Remember how the Lord your God led you for forty years in the wilderness” – Deut. 8:2. And how often must we remember the death and resurrection of Christ? It is every second, every minute, every hour, every day. Thanks to the Mother Church, every second (even now) the Eucharist is being celebrated somewhere in the world. During my seminary days, I used to enjoy singing the night prayer hymn beautifully composed by J. Ellerton.
The forth stanza says:
The sun that bids us rest is waking, Our brethren ‘neath the Western sky And hour by hour fresh lips are making Thy wondrous doings heard on high. Finally, for us to be sustained on this our steady journey towards home, a journey of life filled with difficulties; where fiery serpents have bitten many to death, we must constantly take refuge (through the Eucharist) in the source of our lives. Have you been separated from the Eucharist for a long time now? It means that you have broken the communion between you and Jesus, the Word that makes you alive. What is it that has separated you from the great love of Christ? For St Paul, there cannot be any reason at all for us to separate from God – Rom. 8:35. Whatever it is that has separated you, make a decision today, and set up the bridge once more. Eat His body; drink His blood so that you can truly be alive.