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Sunday 07 June 2015: The Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ (Corpus Christi)

This is my body. This is my blood.

During the meal, Jesus instituted the Eucharist. He took a meal that celebrated the liberation of Israel from slavery (an event in the past) and transformed it into a meal that looked forward to the Kingdom. He made the change with his self-giving (sharing himself in the form of bread and wine). And he reenforced the change with a declaration of the postponed celebration ("Amen, I say to you that I will no longer drink from any fruit of the vine until that day I drink it new in the Kingdom of God").

Body and Blood of Jesus Christ

Both self-giving and eschatological declaration would play themselves out in Jesus' passion and death. The crucified Lord would be the sign of the end times. His sacrifice on the cross would be THE worship of the Kingdom. The blood he spilled would be poured out for "many" (a Semitic phrase "for all people"). The arrangement God made with believers through the sacrifice of his Son was the covenant of the Kingdom!

Obviously, we do not live in the Kingdom, even though we live in constant expectation of God's reign. However, the Eucharist we celebrate makes the Kingdom real because the Lord is truly present. He is with us at Mass so he can be one with us. Our struggles, our pain, our anticipation of the Kingdom becomes his. And the gift of his self-giving becomes ours.

Excerpt from a reflection on the Gospel by Larry Broding, The Word Sunday