We celebrate today the Solemnity of the Body and Blood of Christ. Alleluia!

We celebrate today the food and drink of eternal life. For Christ teaches us “Anyone who eats this bread will live for ever.[1] What an amazing promise. What am amazing gift. No ordinary food this. No half measures, we are promised eternal life, despite our frailty now and despite that our mortal body will die, we will be raised again on the last day with a glorified body. Alleluia!

When Jesus spoke of his “flesh and real food and his blood as real drink[2] his disciples found it hard to accept – “This is a hard saying; who can listen to it?”[3] Many of them “went away and accompanied him no more.[4]

Difficult to believe, yes, but of course we receive in faith that what looks like bread and wine is in fact the Body and Blood of Christ.

One of the Fathers, St. Clement of Alexandria[5] beautifully describes the gift of Holy Communion, namely:

Calling her children about her, she [the Church] nourishes them with holy milk, that is, with the Infant Word…The Word is everything to a child: both Father and Mother, both Instructor and Nurse. ‘EAT MY FLESH,’ He says, ‘AND DRINK MY BLOOD.’ The Lord supplies us with these intimate nutriments. HE DELIVERS OVER HIS FLESH, AND POURS OUT HIS BLOOD; and nothing is lacking for the growth of His children. O incredible mystery! [6]

Yes, it is indeed a mystery. But let each one of us partake of this sacred food that our souls may be nourished. Let us not be one of those to whom the Lord says, “Will you also go away?”[7]

There have been many who have sacrificed their lives by their yearning and receiving the Blessed Body and Blood of Christ.

You may not be called to be a martyr, but you are called to yearn and receive this Sacred Food.

Sr. Rosaleen Shaw OP

[1] John 6:51

[2] Ibid., 6:55

[3] Ibid., 6:60

[4] Ibid., 6:66

[5] c.150-216 AD

[6] Clement of Alexandria (Instructor of Children 1:6:42,1,3) http://www.therealpresence.org/eucharst/father/fat...

[7] Jn. 6:67

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