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Doctrines & Morals

Corpus Christi: I am the Bread of Life

Deut. 8:2-3.14-16, 1 Cor. 10:16-17, Jn 6: 51-58. Today, we celebrate one of the core tenets of our Christian faith, the great Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of the Lord. Today’s Gospel presents us with the "Bread of Life discourse" which comes shortly after the miracle of the multiplication of the loaves and fishes, linking the Exodus story and God’s saving action toward the Israelites. Having seen Jesus multiply the loaves and fishes, the crowd pursues Him, seeking more sign. Today, Jesus tells them that He is the "Bread of Life", just as God gave the Israelites manna to sustain them in the desert, so God sent new manna that will give eternal life. It is in this context that Jesus repeats those words that He is the living bread that came down from Heaven. The passage is meant to remind us of two feedings in the Old Testament: the feeding of the Israelites in the desert as recounted in today's first reading and Elisha, feeding hundred people with twenty loaves in 2 Kings 4:42-44.

In contemporary time, God gives us the Eucharist for our spiritual nourishment as the “Sacrament of universal salvation.” Paul makes this point clear in today's second reading, as he reminds us of the unity of the Church, our intimate connection with Jesus and the salvific effect of the Body and Blood of Christ. During the Eucharistic celebration, people, communities, races and nations are united as they share in the Body and Blood of Christ and as such participate in the Heavenly banquet. Just as the words of Jesus were not well understood by the crowd, the theology of the Eucharist is misunderstood among different Christian denominations. Just as the Jews argued that Jesus is not from Heaven but born of Mary and Joseph, they also have trouble understanding how bread and wine can be transformed and altered into the very substance, essence and reality of the Body and Precious Blood of Jesus. In the elements of bread and wine, Jesus is truly present, Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity with us. When we share in the Body and Blood of Christ, Jesus comes to dwell within us. This communion with the Lord makes us one body, brings us eternal life and sends us forth to be Christ’s Body in the world. Though it is a prototype of the Manna that the Israelites ate in the desert (and still died), it is different because as Christ says: “Whoever eats the body and drinks the blood of the Son of Man will never die.” Thus, there is a great need for us to restore the reverence and proper worship and adoration we ought to give to the Lord, His Real Presence in the Eucharist and it has to begin with us and from us. We must have a great and profound change on how we view the Holy Mass, to make it the most important part of our lives and to centre ourselves and our existence on the Lord.

May the Most Holy Body and Blood, flowing down from the Cross in atonement for our sins, have mercy on us sinners and by our worthy partaking in this most Sacred Communion, unite us as the One Body of Christ, the Church and lead us into eternal life! Amen!! Stay safe and save life, Jesus loves you, happy Corpus Christi Sunday!!!

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