Long known as Corpus Christi Sunday, in today’s feast, we revere the gift of the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ sacrificed for our salvation
Reflections on the readings for the Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ (June 19, 2022): GN 14:18-20; PS 110:1,2,3,4; 1 COR 11:23-26; LK 9:11-17
MISSIO offers “Mission In Scripture” to nurture a missionary heart, providing reflections on the missionary themes in the readings of Sundays, Feast Days and Holy Days.
In time, the disciples of our Lord would receive the Holy Eucharist of His own Body and Blood. And it would fortify and nourish their inmost being, and the many, many generations of believers to follow.
Three different times in the liturgy for today’s beautiful Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ we hear about people sharing meals. The first is from the book of Genesis when Melchizedek, both a king and a priest, greets Abraham as they celebrate a victory over enemies. The second is in St. Paul’s letter to the Corinthians. He describes the gift that Jesus made to His Apostles at the Last Supper of His own Body and Blood. Our Lord tells them that this gift is meant to be shared with others through the transubstantiation of bread and wine. This glorious mystery is, of course, the true focus of this wonderful feast.
However, the Gospel speaks of another event that happened earlier in Christ’s ministry that foreshadows the actual Eucharist on Holy Thursday. It is known as the miracle of the loaves and fishes and, unlike the rest of our Lord’s miracles, it is mentioned in each of the four Gospels. Preaching to a crowd of thousands about the kingdom of God, Jesus finds the Apostles reminding Him that it is getting late and that the people need to be sent to nearby towns to get something to eat. After all, they only have five loaves of bread and two fish. At this point, Christ tells them to have the people sit down. “Then taking the five loaves and the two fish, and looking up to heaven, He said the blessing over them, broke them and gave them to the disciples to set before the crowd. They all ate and were satisfied. And when the leftover fragments were picked up, they filled twelve wicker baskets” (Luke 9:16-17). Just as at the Last Supper, Jesus blesses and breaks the food. But this time, it is not meant to feed Twelve, but five thousand. And when His disciples distribute it that is exactly what it does. Jesus satisfied their natural hunger, just as His words sustained their hearts and spirits. In time, the disciples of our Lord would receive the Holy Eucharist of His own Body and Blood. And it would fortify and nourish their inmost being, and the many, many generations of believers to follow.
Suggested missionary action: We can make an effort each day to praise our Lord for the precious, immeasurable gift of His life for us. We might say the well-known prayer: “O Sacrament Most Holy, O Sacrament Divine! All praise and all thanksgiving be every moment Thine!”