Tuesday, August 25, 2009

The Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ

Click here for today's readings.

The first reading from Exodus gives us the laws of God and a covenant. Under these laws, mankind still sinned. Jesus's sacrifice opened a new covenant, that we would have God's word written on our hearts and be free from sin. While the first covenant was marked by the blood of bulls and goats, the new covenant is marked by the blood of Christ. The reading from Hebrews asks, “If the blood of goats and bulls .. sanctified those who were defiled... how much more will the blood of Christ... cleanse our consciences from dead works to worship the living God?”

The body of Christ was given as a sacrificial gift to us. We were not deserving of such a gift, yet he gave of himself totally, freely, faithfully, fruitfully and unconditionally. He gave his entire self out of love for us and so we could be free from sin and worship God. He did not give of Himself partially, he gave us Himself fully, and continually. He left us Himself in the Eucharist so He could be with us until He comes again. On the altar, the bread and wine is transformed by God into body and blood to renew the covenant.

Even now, Jesus offers himself fully to us. On altars around the world the sacrifice is offered continually in the Eucharist. The Eucharist is a gift that God has given to us so we can always see the redeeming power of Christ's love. We are invited to receive this gift every day, not just on Sundays. As God transforms the bread and wine into the body and blood, he is also transforming each one of us. By receiving the gift of the most holy Eucharist, we open ourselves to God's transformative power. Our hearts, minds and souls are being renewed and changed. Receiving the Body of the Lord is more than a personal act, it leads us love for our neighbor.

The reception of the body and blood of Christ Jesus is complimented by our worship and adoration of his body in the form of Eucharistic Adoration. On this feast day of the Body and Blood of Christ. I encourage you to spend time praying and thinking about the Eucharist and what you receive when you stand in the communion line. The body of Christ is not a symbol, it is our salvation.

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