PASTOR’S CORNER JUNE 22, 2011
We celebrate the Body of Christ!
At any moment, somewhere in the world, a believer (1 billion Catholics) is offering the Eucharist to another believer while saying, “The Body of Christ.” The one who receives the Eucharist responds, “Amen.” Within that short exchange lies a profound mystery. It is good that the church in its wisdom regularly calls us to pause, to reflect and to be renewed in faith and in fervor for the gift of the body of Christ.
Scriptures today call us to renew our sensitivity and gratitude for the gift of the body of Christ and the union with Jesus that it gives us. This gift is first and foremost a sharing in the very life of Jesus. As bread, Jesus provides the food of eternal life, but not before being torn and broken on the cross. In the sacrifice of himself, Jesus also offers his very self to be consumed so that whoever eats and whoever drink with have life.
But the gift of the body of Christ that we celebrate today has another dimension, Paul reminded his converts that those who eat of the Eucharistic body of Christ become the ecclesial body of Christ. Participation in the sacramental body and blood of the Lord incorporates us into the body of Christ that is the community of believers and makes us responsible for the community. Therefore, our “Amen” says yes to the sacramental Jesus as well as to one another.
In today’s Gospel, Jesus says, “whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood abides in me and I in them.” And he tells us that if we do not eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, we will have no life in us. The Eucharist is our nourishment, our true food, and without it we will face death by spiritual starvation. We who are celebrating the Eucharist today have the obligation of taking the message of love and the experience of community and fulfillment to all those who are dying around us. Do it joyfully! Our outreach and reconciliation can make the difference between life and death to those we encounter this week!! Blessings!