THIS CHALICE IS THE NEW COVENANT IN MY BLOOD (1 Cor 11:25)

Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ (Year C)

Gen 14:18-20; Psalm 110:1-2, 3, 4 (R.v.4cd); 1 Cor 11:23-26; Luke 9:11b-17

THIS CHALICE IS THE NEW COVENANT IN MY BLOOD (1 Cor 11:25)

The celebration of the Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ, in a very special way, invites us to reflect on the rich deposit of our faith which informs our celebration of the Holy Eucharist. Beyond that however, it affords us of the opportunity to reflect well on what we believe in so as to ensure that we are not dancing outside the beat.

At this year’s celebration, we are reminded that the Eucharist is a memorial of the Lord’s death with which he used to save us and reconcile us to the Father. Two years ago, at this celebration, we were invited to reflect on the nourishing nature of the Bread that Jesus gives to our soul. Last year, while the nourishing effect was not forgotten, the covenantal nature of the sacrifice of Jesus was more emphasized.

No one is excluded from this covenant. That is why the Gospel reported in last year’s celebration that it is poured out for many (Mark 14:24). And it is not will of Christ that any should be excluded (see John 6:37). In fact, his very mission was to heal anything that engenders separation. At the celebration of the Eucharist, the goal of that mission reaches its height. Hence, it will be a contradiction if we partake of this celebration and still find ourselves fostering discrimination, division and separation of any kind in the Body of Christ.

The background to the Second Reading tells us of one of such ways we foster such division. St. Paul noted in 1 Cor 11:20 that their celebration no longer merited to be called the Supper of the Lord. The reason was that the poor ones, who make up the working class, were being cheated out because before they finish their work and join the celebration, the meal gets finished, leaving them with the option of getting drunk with wine. So, it was the fact that social stratification was not helping to remain one body. Does this still happen among us? Does tribal sentiments still determine whom we worship with?

In this celebration, the Church calls us to overlook all our differences and hurts of the past and embrace the love and peace which the Holy Eucharist signifies. Just as Christ satisfies our hunger through it, the Gospel, today, enjoins us to satisfy the hunger of the needy in our communities. Whenever we hearken to that invitation, we shall dispose ourselves to be blessed as Abraham was blessed in the First Reading.

May God give us the grace to always keep ourselves worthy for the reception of this great Sacrament of the Body and Blood and so be entrenched into the new covenant. May he also grant the Holy Spirit to those who are yet to understand their need of this sacrament so as to come and be united with Jesus, their Lord and saviour (see John 6:55). Amen

Have a blessed Sunday and a memorable participation at the Eucharistic banquet. Peace be with you.

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