Gospel and Homily for the Feast of Corpus Christi

posted Jun 13, 2020, 11:06 AM by Michelle Massung

Gospel        JN 6:51-58

Jesus said to the Jewish crowds:
"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."

The Jews quarreled among themselves, saying,
"How can this man give us his flesh to eat?"
Jesus said to them,
"Amen, amen, I say to you,
unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood,
you do not have life within you.
Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood
has eternal life,
and I will raise him on the last day.
For my flesh is true food,
and my blood is true drink.
Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood
remains in me and I in him.
Just as the living Father sent me
and I have life because of the Father,
so also the one who feeds on me
will have life because of me.
This is the bread that came down from heaven.
Unlike your ancestors who ate and still died,
whoever eats this bread will live forever."

The Gospel of the Lord



Homily for Feast of Corpus Christi


            Today’s feast is truly the essence of our Catholic faith; it is what separates us from other Christians.  Each week we gather here to celebrate the sacred liturgy and the high point of the liturgy is when we become truly and literally united with Christ in the reception of his true precious body and blood.  It is his real presence and we need the nourishment for our own spiritual journey.  

            Why do I say spiritual journey? Well in today’s first reading, we hear Moses give his famous speech to the Israelites as they finish their 40 year journey through the desert from the bondage of slavery in Egypt to the Promised Land.  During that journey, the Lord provided them with manna to eat on their earthly journey.  Yet, as we all know, each of them eventually died.  However, this story is really a similar story to our own lives.  We are all held in bondage in our slavery to sin.  

            For example, I was a slave the alcohol and needed Jesus to deliver me from this bondage. I trust that he will assist me on my new found freedom, but I still need the nourishment of AA meetings, prayers, and working with my sponsor on a regular basis.  These things keep me free from that slavery.  We are all sinners and God sent his Son, Jesus to free us from this bondage in the same way that he called the Israelites out of Egypt.  We are his new chosen people and he gives us the real body and blood of Jesus as our nourishment in the place of manna that he gave to the Jews.  

            Why do we need this nourishment? Well, just like we need to eat to stay alive physically, we need to eat spiritually.  The Eucharist frees us from our venial sins and gives us the grace to resist temptation for mortal sins.  It also unites us together as a group of believers throughout the world.  Through the Eucharist, we are all united as the body of Chris, a chosen people just like the Israelites were chosen. 

            However, one thing that really bothers me is that only 25-30% of Catholics believe in the real presence of Jesus in the Eucharist.  Why?  First, it is a very difficult concept for us to fully comprehend.  It takes faith and trust in Jesus to believe his message from today’s Gospel.  As humans, for us to have faith and a deep trust in anyone we come in contact with, we have to have a relationship with that person. This is why I stress the importance of having a personal relationship with Jesus in my ministry.  If you don’t know Jesus, it is hard to truly listen to and to trust in his message.  It is basic human nature to only trust those that we are close to.  

            Yet, we are what we eat and in the reception of his body and blood, we become more Christ-like if we allow it to transform us and be a source of spiritual nourishment.  This is why I stated at the beginning of my homily that the Eucharist is our spiritual nourishment.  Today, allow this nourishment to really transform us into a true follower of Christ.  We are the new chosen people and because of this, we also have a higher calling in the way we live our lives.  To help us, Jesus wants us to have us share in his real body and blood so that we can be united with him.  When you come forward today to receive the Eucharist and the minister says the Body or Blood of Christ, make your amen a bold statement that you truly affirm that you are receiving him, mind, body and soul.  Then conform your lives to that of Jesus as the new chosen people and you too will be welcomed into the new promised land in heaven forever.