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Sunday, June 14, 2020

Reflection 2020-06-14 (Corpus Christi: Body and Blood of Jesus)

Deuteronomy 8:2-3, 14-16; Psalm 147, 1 Corinthians 10:16-17; John 6:51-59
In the Second Reading today, St Paul is very clear about this: The cup of blessing that we bless, is it not a sharing in the Blood of Christ? The bread that we break, is it not the sharing in the Body of Christ? And even through the centuries, the Church has believed it IS the Body and Blood of Jesus. It was only during the reformation that people start to believe otherwise. Sadly, this unbelief has prevailed, that a recent Research shows 70% of US Catholics do not believe in the real Presence of Jesus in the Eucharist.
However, reality does not change just because people believe or do not believe in something. The Bread is still the Body and Blood of Jesus. And even if some try to reason this is not so, Jesus says so clearly in today’s Gospel: I am the living bread that came down from heaven. Here he says HE is the Living Bread. He points to the First Reading which says Man does not live on bread alone, but from every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord. We live, not because of physical bread, but because of EVERY WORD that comes from the mouth of the Lord. Jesus IS the WORD of God, so he is the One that gives life, so he is right to call himself the Living Bread. Jesus continues: Whoever eats of this bread will live forever. Here, he is still referring to himself as the bread that we eat to live forever.
Then Jesus says this: the bread that I will give for the life of the world is my flesh. Jesus refers to THE BREAD that I WILL GIVE. He is not talking of his physical Body he offers at the Cross. He is talking of THE Bread he will give that is his Flesh. This is why the people could not accept it because Jesus was talking of Bread that is his Flesh. He ends by saying: This is the bread that came down from heaven, not like that which your ancestors ate, and they died. But the one who eats this bread will live forever. He talks of a specific bread which is why he says THE bread and THIS bread.
Read the Church Fathers and see this was how the early Church interprets this. Even in the Acts of the Apostles it speaks of the new converts as devoting themselves to THE teaching of the Apostles, to THE fellowship, to THE Breaking of THE Bread and to THE prayers. It talks of one specific teaching of the Apostles, one specific fellowship which is the Catholic Church, one specific Breaking of one specific Bread and one specific prayers.
This is why Catholics believe the Bread and Wine we offer at Mass IS the Body and Blood of Jesus, simply because Jesus said so and he meant it literally. If this was not the real Body and Blood of Jesus, why would Satanists and witches smuggle these outside the Church and use them to desecrate them? They do not use other bread from other communities. They only take THE Bread used by Catholics, because they know, it is not only a symbol but is the Real Body and Blood of Jesus.
It is probably providential that it is close to the Feast of Corpus Christi that the Vatican announces the beatification of Carlo Acutis. He was an Italian teenager who was 15 years old when he died in 2006. He used his skills in computers to post his research on the Eucharistic miracles who says the Eucharist is the highway to heaven. Him and many other saints before him have discovered the True Secret to a life of holiness: love for the Word of God in the Person of Jesus in the Eucharist and the Scripture.
Is there anything that hinders you from believing the Bread is the True Body and Blood of Jesus? Come to him and ask him to reveal himself to you.
Lord, in this Feast of your Body and Blood, I pray you will reveal yourself to me. This feast reminds me that indeed, you became flesh and dwelt among us. And to give us eternal life, you gave us your Body and Blood which we receive. Help me to believe this is YOU present, fulfilling your promise to be with us through the end of the ages. While I may not be able to receive you because of this lock down, I believe you can still enter my life. So Lord, come, enter my life, just as you entered creation. Fill my life, just as you filled creation. Let me live my life for you, as you emptied yours for me.

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