First Reading: Exodus 24: 3 – 8
Second Reading: Hebrews 9: 11 – 15
Gospel: Mark 14: 12 – 16, 22 -26
A bishop was asked about the Eucharist by an educated skeptic, “How is it possible for
bread and wine to change into the Body and Blood of Christ ?” The bishop replied: “When
you were born, you were not big and stout as now. How did you grow? What you ate was
changed into flesh and blood, which is a miracle. Now, could God not perform a miracle
just as nature does?”
The skeptic asked again, “How is it possible for all of Jesus Christ to be present in such a
small Host?” The bishop replied. “You see the vast landscape before you. Yet your very
small eye can take it all in. So it is possible for all of Jesus Christ to be in one small Host.”
“How can the same Jesus Christ be found in all consecrated Hosts?”
“There is nothing impossible with God. This answer should suffice, but nature can also
reply. Break a mirror in many pieces and each one will reflect the same image reflected by
the entire mirror. Thus, Jesus Christ is contained in al consecrated Hosts and in each
fragment of them.”
As a young boy, I vividly recall how my family gathered each night to share dinner. My
siblings and I often laughed, cried, argued, and were reprimanded by our parents
during dinner. In fact, our family life unfolded at the kitchen table, which was the heart
and soul of our home. Sunday dinner was the high point of the week, as my parents
invited neighbors and friends to join us, all considered family as we sat at the table to
share a fellowship meal.
I recognize that much has changed in our modern life since my boyhood days. It seems
that family meals have become another causality of modern life, with busy activities
replacing the ability of families to come together and share a meal. We may have
gained much as modern life has progressed. I suspect that we have lost much as well.
If there are any hidden graces caused by the pandemic we have endured, perhaps one
such grace is our deep desire to share our life with those whom we love in personal
ways. If we endured isolation and quarantine, who did not have an aching heart that
wanted simply to laugh, cry, or hug our loved ones? The pandemic vividly reminded
me of our genuine human desire to share life together as a family.
In today’s reading from the Gospel of Mark, we hear that the disciples were uncertain
as to where they were to prepare the Passover meal. They were equally unaware of
the events that would prepare them to become fearless apostles of the risen Lord.
Having been fed at the Last Supper, witness to the resurrection, and empowered by
the Holy Spirit, they were prepared to go out in mission and bring the good news of
salvation in Christ to the entire world.
As we celebrate the solemnity of Corpus Christi and some churches around the
country begin fully to reopen, we have an opportunity to recommit ourselves to our
larger family of faith with hope of gathering in-person once again at the table of the
Lord in Mass.
The holy sacrifice of the Mass is the sacramental celebration in which the paschal
mystery of Christ’s passion, death, and resurrection becomes present to us through
grace. Our participation in Mass invites us into the mystery of our salvation in Jesus
Christ. By receiving Christ’s body, blood, soul, and divinity in the Eucharist, our minds
are enlightened, our hearts are strengthened, and like the apostles we are renewed in
spirit to go out into the world as missionary disciples of the Lord.
There is an invitation for everyone who will listen. And a seat waiting to be filled by the
gift of your presence. In this moment of grace, let us take the opportunity to recommit
ourselves to active participation in the Body of Christ. For it is at the table of the Lord
that our ecclesial family is strengthened and we receive the grace to witness to Christ.
May Jesus in the Eucharist always be the very center and heart of our church, the center and
heart of our faith, the center and heart of our parish, and the center and heart of the lives of
each of us.
O Sacrament most holy,
O Sacrament divine,
All praise and all thanksgiving
Be every moment thine.
God bless. Have a wonderful Sunday.