Homily for Corpus Christi 2022
Today is the Solemnity of the Body and Blood of Christ also known as Corpus Christi. Of course, this important sacrament has been politicized in recent years. That is unfortunate because we can quickly lose a sense of what it is and what it is all about.
The Eucharist is Christian and has its roots in the Passover meal given to the Hebrews when they left Egypt. That same meal at the last supper was transformed into what we appreciate today which is the Body and Blood of Christ.
No other religions have this same understanding of the God who comes among his people and gives of himself completely to them. This is important for one of the key tenets of Catholicism is that there is no longer any separation between Jesus being present to us in our everyday life.
For the past two thousand years, Jesus has been present to us coming into our very life as human beings. This is what the Eucharist is all about.
Jesus comes right into our daily existence into the very core of who we are and he reaches out to us. We respond by reaching out to Him but he reaches out to us first.
Everything that we are, and we are all about, comes into the light of his presence. Jesus invites us to hold nothing back in being in his presence. We have the invitation to come to him in humility in all we are and to offer ourselves to Him in the same way he offers ourselves to us.
This is unique in our faith and it is unique in our foundation of Christianity. The Orthodox Christians share the same ideas but that is it no other Christians have the same concepts of the Eucharist as Christ entering into our lives and no other religions have the same concept of Jesus coming to us so completely.
This becomes an essential part of our faith.
We know that many people put restrictions on the reception of the Eucharist but the only real restriction is never to approach the Eucharist on our terms. We approach the Eucharist by letting go of everything and putting ourselves in His presence as we approach the Eucharist. As I always say, if you are not ready to do that is OK. Just do not receive and pray to the Lord explaining that you are not ready to give of yourself so completely. Jesus has still reached out to you in your daily life.
We have to be careful that we do not lose a sense of what the Eucharist is. As Catholics, we are living in unique times. For some these times are scary and with reason. However, look at what is actually happening—Many people in our government rejected everything there is to understanding about who Jesus is and embraced a more human understanding of our existence. The result is what we would predict if what we believe is true.
Let me put it this way. If someone tells us that our understanding of gravity is absurd and that there is no such thing. So they act as if gravity does not exist and suddenly you watch them fall sixty stories from the top of one of the towers here in Boston. You would see the tragedy for what it is but you would also have proof that everything you believe about gravity is true.
If you watch the world carefully, you can see what we believe. We need a savior who reaches out to us. It is proven every day. Many people will reject our beliefs daily but their actions are actually proving what we believe is true.
We cannot run our world without responding to Christ reaching out to us. Remember, it is Christ who reaches out to the whole human race, prior to Jesus this was not an understanding in Judaism. God was reaching out to the Jews and from the Jews, he would reach out to the world in the fullness of time. So here we see this Jesus reaching out to the whole human race because it is the whole human race that needs a savior. However, he is also reaching out to each person individually and that is what receiving the Eucharist is all about coming forward and accepting his grace upon us each and every one of us.
It is the combination of reaching out to all one at a time that leads us to understand who our Lord really is and who we are in light of him.
We have a powerful message to share with the whole world through our Eucharist. We need God and he reaches out to us to free us from our own weaknesses and limitations. He calls us to accept him on his terms and receive his powerful grace.
It is a message that we can share with the whole world. Jesus is the son of God, he came to save us and lead us to eternal life and the Eucharist is his presence so that we may understand His truth.
I often listen to many people turned off of Christianity by the words and actions of some Christians including Catholics, that is tragic. We have to understand that a message has been entrusted to us that we can share with the whole world. When we do not understand that then others will bring forth this message and you may hear complete distortions about who Jesus is and who we are.
We have a more profound message indicated by the Eucharist. Jesus has come to each of us individually, he calls us to embrace that message and lead others to understand the same.