Dearest sisters and brothers, today, we celebrate the Solemnity of the Body and Blood of Christ. In the first reading, we read that God fed the Israelites with manna and sustained them with it for forty years in the desert.
Today, the Lord tells us that his Body and Blood is the new manna from heaven as he declared earlier in the gospel of John 6:32-33 before the passage we read today. Like the manna in the Old Testament, the bread of the Eucharist is our means of sustenance in both earthly life and the eternal life to come.
One primary way the Eucharistic Lord sustains us is that it creates a bond of unity between us as brothers and sisters as Paul tells us in the second reading. In the breaking of the bread, we all, as brothers and sisters, are united as one with him. As one knows very well, together in the Lord we stand, and divided we fall. In his reflection on this union with Christ through the bread of the Eucharist, Clement of Alexandria compared it to two pieces of wax being fused together.
My dearest brothers and sisters, through the Eucharistic communion, “we become blood relatives” of Christ and he becomes our next of kin. It is therefore obligatory for each of us who receive him “to recognize each other as relatives, family with Jesus.” It is always a great scandal and terrible tragedy when we, who participate and receive the Body and Blood of the Lord, are divided and in disharmony.
From the Responsorial Psalm and the Gospel, we read that the Eucharistic Lord, who came down from heaven, brings us eternal life. I have often wondered how earthly life would have been meaningful if there is no eternal life after this one. I do not know about you, but for me, earthly life has come with many challenges. Many a time, it has been a life of drudgery and pain. One minute we are happy, the next one we are sad. One minute we are relaxed, the next one we are stressed. Nothing in earthly life is permanent. Everything is fleeting and all its moments are punctuated with various life’s problems.
It is the Eucharistic bread that gives life meaning and without its nourishment, “God’s life in us drains away.” Our earthly life can only be meaningful when lived with and for God. It is the Eucharist that connects us with God and crowns our life with eternity at the end. Today, I invite each of you, to renew your devotion and love to the Eucharistic Lord so that your life can be meaningful now and in eternity.