Feast of the Body and Blood of Christ
Sunday, June 10th 2012
On the first day of Unleavened Bread, when the Passover lamb is sacrificed, his disciples said to him, “Where do you want us to go and make the preparations for you to eat the Passover?” So he sent two of his disciples, saying to them, “Go into the city, and a man carrying a jar of water will meet you; follow him, and wherever he enters, say to the owner of the house, ‘The Teacher asks, Where is my guest room where I may eat the Passover with my disciples?’ He will show you a large room upstairs, furnished and ready. Make preparations for us there.” So the disciples set out and went to the city, and found everything as he had told them; and they prepared the Passover meal.
While they were eating, he took a loaf of bread, and after blessing it he broke it, gave it to them, and said, “Take; this is my body.” Then he took a cup, and after giving thanks he gave it to them, and all of them drank from it. He said to them, “This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many. Truly I tell you, I will never again drink of the fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new in the kingdom of God.”
When they had sung the hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives.
(Mark 14:12–16, 22–26 NRSV)
Full Sunday scripture available on our parish website. Click here.
The Body and Blood of Christ
Today marks the opening of the International Eucharistic Congress in Dublin, with the churches here in Ireland playing host to people of faith from all parts of the world. For the last few years we have been praying to grow in communion with Christ and with each other; we have hoped that this week of faith and prayer will deepen faith in Jesus Christ, and also help in our commitment to each other.
Fruit of the Congress
A fruit of the congress would be to know Christ more, and to work with him in partnership for a better world. Our motivation for that is our common belonging to the family of God.
This is what we celebrate each time we come to Mass. The anthem of the congress begins, ‘though we are many, we are one body’; our unity is in our sharing in the love of God, a love which creates us and is in everyone of any faith, gender, age or creed.
The congress could be a good show. It could show us at our best as Christians, both in what we do and what we hope to do. But it must be more than a show. The congress especially with its theme of the social dimension of the Eucharist is to impel us on with generosity to help create this better world of justice and of peace. It is the presence of the Lord Jesus on the table spread throughout every city, town and village of our country.
A lovely few lines on the Eucharist from the meeting of Jesus on the road to Emmaus:
We heard, eyes cast down,
when at Emmaus he broke
our common bread
and looking up, we saw Him.
His face was blazing like the sun!
We blinked, and then he was gone,
but the bread remained.
Donal Neary SJ