2 and 3 June 2018 Body and Blood of Christ B Homily
The Feast of the Body and Blood of Christ is a very incarnational Feast
Jesús the Christ takes on our flesh (body) and our blood.
Jesús taking on our humanity implies several things.
First, Our bloodline is no longer only human.
Exodus tells us about a sacrifice made with blood today in the first Reading today.
Moses took half of the blood and put it in large bowls;
the other half he splashed on the altar.
Taking the book of the covenant, he read it aloud to the people,
who answered, “All that the LORD has said, we will heed and do.”
Then he took the blood and sprinkled it on the people, saying,
“This is the blood of the covenant
that the LORD has made with you
in accordance with all these words of his.”
This “blood of the covenant is “animal blood”
The blood is an outward sign that seals the agreement between the Lord and the people.
Naturally enough this use of blood is used by Jesús to “seal” the agreement between the Lord and the people in the New Covenant.
In the New Covenant the blood does not remain “outside” of us.
It is intended to get inside of us,
It is intended to transform us.
It is intended to mix the blood of Jesús with our own blood.
It is intended to transform our hearts of stone and steel by mixing the blood moving through us to take on the attitudes of the One who shed his blood for others.
Can our hearts be transformed physically by the special “blood”?
I cannot answer that question but certainly our hearts can be changed spiritually if we are open to the promise of the Covenant.
Blood is as necessary for the body and mind as is food.
Jesús’ blood in us and for us is intended to help us share in and become one with the body of Christ.
The body of Christ needs our assent, presence, sacrifice and care as much as we need Christ’s assent, presence, sacrifice and care for us.
This body and blood must be replenished, renewed, recirculated over and over again.
The Gospel tells us how bread becomes body and flesh.
While they were eating,
he took bread, said the blessing,
broke it, gave it to them, and said,
“Take it; this is my body.”
The Gospel goes on about how the wine becomes blood.
We are also told how our lives are transformed by the wine become blood. The blood is shed “for the many”, Jesús informs us.
Then he took a cup, gave thanks, and gave it to them,
and they all drank from it.
He said to them,
“This is my blood of the covenant,
which will be shed for many.
Amen, I say to you,
I shall not drink again the fruit of the vine
until the day when I drink it new in the kingdom of God.”
Today let us eat and drink the food that is transformed into body and blood.
May this food and drink transform our hearts and help us live the promise of the Kingdom.
The Kingdom is not somewhere else but as Jesús explains is “near”, is “close”, is so close that it is “in you” and “in us” .
The Kingdom is like the body and blood of Christ that gets not only “near and close” but actually gets “within us” each time we come to be nourished at the Lord’s Table.