The Word Made Flesh Is Real Food!
Dear Brothers and Sisters:
Today we celebrate this great Solemnity of Corpus Christ to honor the incredible mystery of the Holy Eucharist. As usual the Old Testament can help us by preparing us for the Messiah and his saving work. The forty years the Jews spent wandering in the desert was more of a testing, a trial than a punishment for their lack of belief. As the reading said (Deuteronomy 8: 2-3, 14-16) this time was to help them to see what was really in their hearts, their motives. Did they (and you and me) really put their faith in the Word of God, or in bread: money and security? God allows all of us to enter a desert in order to discover the truth about ourselves. Jesus Christ is the only one who enters the desert and remains faithful to the Father. All of us fall to the temptations of the devil which Jesus also underwent in the desert.
Hopefully the desert or this time of trail or emptiness that you may be in now will help you to see that the only real worthwhile spiritual fare is Jesus Christ. A Christian man or woman is never really in want of anything as long as he is close to Christ. He is free from any craving or want. What a wonderful way to live life, without worries?
Jesus Christ says that his flesh and blood are real food. They give you life. And they help you to participate in the life, sufferings, death and resurrection of Christ. The Eucharist makes it possible to imitate him in some way. However, faith is required. Just to receive and go your merry way does not change anything. A Catholic is called to confess his or her sins often, and be free from deliberate serious sin. Communion does not take away serious sin, only the Sacrament of Reconciliation.
The Eucharist also gives a Catholic communion or fellowship with others. As many grains form one bread so do many grapes become wine. Many people of different ages, interests and backgrounds can become the Body of Christ only with the grace that comes from the Eucharist.
If you eat this bread with faith, brothers and sisters, you will never die and you will rise on the last day. Jesus Christ gave his flesh for you and me on the cross and every day in the Eucharist; don’t miss out on it. Be grateful for the life that he is giving you through such a great gift. Receive him well; bow reverently before you receive, and speak to him for those ten minutes when he is physically present in you! It is an awesome time to pray.