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SOLEMNITY OF CORPUS CHRISTI: THOSE WHO BELIEVE DON’T LEAVE!

The most effective way to bring people back to the Catholic Church will be by leading them to believe that Jesus is present in the Eucharist. And the most effective way to attract people to Catholicism who have never even considered becoming Catholic is by facilitating for them powerful encounters with Jesus Christ who lives among us today in the Eucharist. …The Eucharist. Jesus Christ—the King of Kings, the Lord of Lords, the Alpha and the Omega—truly present—Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity—in the Eucharist. He is the difference.” -Matthew Kelly

 

Christ says to his disciples, “Take it.” The expression sounds like Pope John Paul 11’s motto, “Totus Tuus” (Totally Yours). Christ is totally ours. Why don't we take up this Great Offer? Pope John Paul 11 speaks about the Eucharist this way, "The church draws her life from the Eucharist. This truth does not simply express a daily experience of faith, but recapitulates the heart of the mystery of the Church. In a variety of ways, she joyfully experiences the constant fulfillment of the promise: "Lo, I am with you always, to the close of the age" (Mt.28:20), but in the Holy Eucharist, through the changing of bread and wine into the body and blood of the Lord, she rejoices in this presence with unique intensity" (Ecclesia de Eucharistia, No.1). 

 

There is an Igbo adage that says, “A mature eagle feather will forever remain pure” (Ugo chara acha adịghị echu echu). This means that gold, which represents a unique treasure of highest value, will always stand the test of time. This can be said of the Blessed Eucharist and the Catholic Church. Those who believe don’t leave!

 

Sacrifice and commitment

Right from the Old Testament, Moses reminded the people of God’s love and faithfulness. Their exodus journey was tough but through the image of sacrifice, Moses proved God’s abiding presence. Moses offered holocausts as peace offerings thereby establishing an enduring covenant with God. The response from the Israelites is, "All that the LORD has said, we will heed and do" (Ex. 19:8; 24:7). The blood became a sign of the covenant for liberation of the people and a symbol of their commitment, foreshadowing the great sacrifice of the New Testament, “This is my blood of the covenant, which will be shed for many” (Mk. 14:24). Those who believe don’t leave!

 

Eucharist as Food

Jesus says to his followers, “I am the living bread that came down from heaven, whoever eats this bread will live forever, and the bread that I will give is my flesh for the life of the world” (Jn.6:51). This generated great controversies among the followers and some would abandon him and leave. The reality of the Blessed Eucharist presents us with hard truth not easily acceptable in our time. Yet Christ reinforces his saying, “Amen, amen, I say to you, unless you eat of the flesh of the Son of Man and drink of his blood, you do not have life within you” (Jn.6:53). This is the food he gives us on this great feast when he says, "Take it: this is my body. This is my blood of the covenant." The body and blood of Christ is true food and true drink, giving real meaning and ushering in the life of grace. Not everyone understands this truth. Some quarrel, others walk away. Those who believe don’t leave!

 

Our Holy Communion

At Mass, the priest pronounces the words of Christ over the bread and the wine which become the body and blood of Christ. Christ becomes fully present on the altar, in the community that gathers to share the meal, and in our individual lives as we receive him. This is called "Holy Communion." The Church community shares this meal with one another. We become images of God’s love. We exchange the kiss of peace, look each other in the eyes with a eucharistic peace. We thank God for being a part of the worshipping community. We remind each other that we are “all baptized into one body, and all were made to drink of one Spirit” (1 Cor. 12:13). The Eucharist is that holy sacrifice, our covenant of love, our spiritual food, our holy communion, and the source of grace. Those who believe don’t leave!

 

You don’t just take Jesus. You’re in a lasting relationship with God.

The best way to show love to someone is to stick with the beloved. The Eucharist invites us to an intimate relationship with Jesus. This relationship nourishes us. We must take God’s love seriously, just as we would take any other relationship seriously. We need to express this love through devotion and adoration to the Blessed Eucharist. We face challenges and tough times. Things don’t get easier by any lukewarm attitude. Challenges do not also disappear because we follow Christ, perhaps they even intensify. But sticking with Jesus and getting closer to the eucharistic community gives us strength. Grace from the Eucharist fills us with God’s love.

  

Put this in perspective, with everything happening in today’s society – dirty politics, hatred for religion, toxic education, anti-life campaigns, biting economy, moral depravity, etc. We all understand how much we need the Blessed Eucharist. If you’re wondering how to do it, I will recommend that you take up the consecration, “33 Days to Eucharistic Glory.” Matthew Kelly’s statement stands out, Those Who Believe Don’t Leave!



Readings: 1st- Ex. 24:3-8; 2nd- Heb. 9:11-15; Gospel- Mk.14:12-16, 22-26

 

 

 

 

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