THE BODY AND BLOOD OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST
(A biblical reflection on the Solemnity of THE BODY AND BLOOD OF CHRIST – Sunday, 19 June 2022)
Gospel Reading: Luke 9:11-17
First Reading: Genesis 14:18-20; Psalms: Psalm 110:1-4, Second Reading: 1Corintihians 11:23-26
The Scripture Text
When the crowds learned it, they followed Him; and He welcomed them and spoke to them of the Kingdom of God, and cured those who had need of healing. Now the day began to wear away; and the twelve came and said to Him, “Send the crowd away, to go into the villages and country round about, to lodge and get provisions; for we are here in a lonely place.” But He said to them, “You give them something to eat.” They said, “We have no more than five loaves and two fish – unless we are to go and buy food for all these people.” For there were about five thousand men. And He said to His disciples, “make them sit down in companies, about fifty each.” And they did so, and made them all sit down. And taking the five loaves and the two fist he looked up to heaven, and blessed and broke them, and gave them to the disciples to set before the crowd. And all ate and were satisfied. And they took up what was left over, twelve baskets of broken pieces. (Luke 9:11-17 RSV)
Corpus Christi Sunday is a day when we celebrate Jesus’ goodness in feeding us through the Eucharist. In recounting the feeding of the 5,000 (at least), Luke tells how Jesus had intended to withdraw with His apostles for rest, but instead welcomed the throng that crowded around Him. Like a gentle shepherd, He tended to the sick, taught them about the Kingdom, and miraculously provided them with food. He ministered to them until everyone was satisfied (Luke 9:17).
As he wrote to the troubled church in Corinth, Saint Paul explained that Jesus is still able to care for his people: “As often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until He comes” (1Corinthians 11:26). Every time we read the Scriptures, we can be refreshed. Every time we pray, we can be filled with the Holy Spirit. Jesus’ sacrifice – which we recall at every Mass – still has the power to wash away our sins and fill us with divine life.
The bread and wine transformed into Jesus’ body and blood can truly sustain us as we approach His altar with humble hearts. At the same time, whenever we eat and drink, we also look for the day when Jesus will come again. Then, He Himself will feed us directly, no longer through word and sacrament. “… He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning nor crying nor pain any more, for the former things have passed away” (Revelation 21:4).
In the Holy Mass, let us eat and drink of Jesus with grateful hearts. It is HE who feeds us. It is HE who can meet all our physical and spiritual needs. Let us look for the day when Jesus will be with us. As Christians, all of our hope is centered on it.
PRAYER: Lord Jesus Christ, in Your words, we find truth. In Your wounds, we find life. In Your precious blood, we find the power to draw near to You. In Your death, we find life. In Your resurrection, we find hope for eternal life. Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, is now, and will be forever. Amen.
Jakarta, 18 June 2022
A Christian Pilgrim