My brothers and sisters, as we celebrate today’s solemnity of the Body and Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ, let us reflect on the sacredness of what it is we are receiving when we come to our Lord in the Holy Eucharist.
Today’s readings (Mark 14:12-16, 22-26) remind us that the celebration of the Eucharist is a sacrifice. Ever since the 1960s, we don’t often hear that term “sacrifice” when it comes to the Mass. But this is what the Mass is. It is a sacrifice. This understanding of the Mass as sacrifice goes back to the time of ancient Israel when Biblical Jews would go into the temple to offer sacrifices to God.
The Jews would take a small part of God’s creation such as lambs or bulls and offer it to God as a sign of thanksgiving, communion, and reparation for sins. This act by the Jews was given to them by God in order to separate themselves from the rest of the nations who worshipped other gods, including cattle.
We hear a description of this ancient sacrifice in today’s first reading (Exodus 24: 3-8) where Moses erects an altar and offers holocausts and sacrifices young bulls to the Lord. Moses takes blood and splashes it on the people and on the altar. This sprinkling of the blood, half on the altar and half on the people, signified the union between divinity and humanity. So the whole purpose of the sacrifice was to become one with God.
As we look at today’s second reading (Hebrews 9:11-15), we can see that all of the Israelite sacrifices find its fulfillment in Jesus and His great sacrifice on the cross. In today’s second reading we hear, “For if the blood of goats and bulls and the sprinkling of a heifer's ashes can sanctify those who are defiled so that their flesh is cleansed, how much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself unblemished to God, cleanse our consciences from dead works to worship the living God.”
|Fr. John Paul Shea|
When we receive Our Lord in the Holy
|And I, when I am lifted up |
from the earth, I will draw all men
to myself."(John 12:32)
We must be willing to lay aside our own desires and follow the teachings our Lord has handed down to us… We must be willing to sacrifice our own will and desires and pick up our cross and follow Our Lord.
Parents sacrifice for their children… Husbands and wives sacrifice for one another… Children sacrifice themselves in love for their parents through obedience.
Many today in our culture do not want to
As Catholics, we are to celebrate the sacrament of the Eucharist with much sacredness and much reverence. The celebration of the Eucharist is most sacred because the Eucharist is a true sacrifice. This is why the Church is and should be concerned that persons seek to receive Our Lord worthily.
When we eat our Lord’s Body and Blood worthily, the Eucharist makes us sacred. We
My brothers and sisters, the gift of the Eucharist is the greatest gift ever! In the Eucharist we receive the True Presence of Our Lord Jesus Christ. Let us never ever take this sacred gift for granted!