Sunday Reflections

Most Holy Body & Blood of Christ – June 2, 2024

Reflection by:

Reflection by:

Alice Langdon, Apostle of the Resurrection

Today we celebrate the Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ.  We celebrate the new covenant between God and humanity, which our Risen Lord sealed with his very body and blood, offered for us on the cross.

Our first reading recalls the ancient covenant God made with humanity, written in the Torah, and reinforced by Moses and the prophets. In the time of Moses, the Israelites offered animal sacrifices to symbolize their commitment to the covenant of God. They offered these sacrifices regularly, as a reminder to themselves of their commitment to God, and to celebrate God’s commitment to them.

The Letter to the Hebrews explains that Jesus came to transition God’s people from ancient traditions of sacrifice to a new way of honouring their covenant with God.  Jesus offered his living body and blood, once, for the redemption of humanity.  No more would we need to offer the blood of animals, because Jesus took on our humanity, and offered his humanity itself as sacrifice.

But if we no longer need to gather together regularly to offer sacrifices, because our Risen Lord offered himself once and for all, then why do we continue to go to Mass each week?  The Gospel of Mark tells us why.  Jesus taught his disciples at the Last Supper, to gather together regularly (as they did for Sabbath and Passover), and when they gathered, to take bread and wine, bless it, break it, and share it with each other.  Jesus told them, “this is my body” and “this is my blood”.  This is the new way for humanity to honour their covenant with God, the new sacrifice we can offer to remind ourselves that God loves us and wants us to follow Him.  But even more than simply a regular reminder of the covenant, Jesus elevated this new sacrifice to be a sacrament.  The bread truly becomes His Body.  The wine truly is His Blood.  And when we eat and drink the Sacrament of the Eucharist, we are truly renewed by the life-giving sacrifice Jesus made for us.  This is our daily and weekly “bread”, given to sustain us, enliven our hearts for God, and inspire us to proclaim the Gospel in the way we live each day.

May this Solemnity of the Body and Blood of Christ deepen our understanding of the Mass we celebrate and rekindle in us a deep gratitude for Jesus’ sacrifice for our redemption.

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