Engaging the Gospel – Corpus Christi

Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ: Gospel (Year B) – Mark 14:12-16, 22-26

“I would like to rekindle this Eucharistic ‘amazement,’” St. John Paul II wrote in On the Eucharist in its Relationship to the Church.

The Lord’s Real Presence in the Eucharist has been an article of faith since the foundation of the Church. The Catechism expresses this wondrous truth: “The mode of Christ’s Presence” in the Eucharist is

unique. It raises the Eucharist above all the sacraments as the perfection of the spiritual life…The Body and Blood, together with the Soul and Divinity, of our Lord Jesus Christ, and therefore, the whole Christ, is truly, really, and substantially contained.

— paragraph 1374.

Since the Eucharist is not a symbol, but really Christ under the appearances of bread and wine, we ought to adore the Lord in our midst.

JPII wrote movingly of Eucharistic adoration in the same encyclical:

It is pleasant to spend time with Him, to lie close to His breast like the Beloved Disciple and to feel the infinite love present in His heart…How often, dear brothers and sisters, have I experienced this, and drawn from it strength, consolation and support!…The Eucharist is a priceless treasure (25).

Benedict XVI explores this extraordinary gift in Sacramentum Caritatis (Sacrament of Charity):

In the Eucharist, Jesus does not give us a ‘thing,’ but Himself; He offers His own Body and pours out His own Blood. He thus gives us the totality of His life (7).

By giving us the gift of himself, Jesus reveals to us

God’s infinite love for every man and woman. This wondrous sacrament makes manifest that greater love which led Him to lay down His life for His friends. Jesus did indeed love them to the end….

In the same way, Jesus continues, in the sacrament of the Eucharist, to love us to the end…What amazement must the Apostles have felt in witnessing what the Lord did and said during that Supper! What wonder must the Eucharistic mystery also awaken in our own hearts! (1).

Question for reflection: How have I experienced the power of the Eucharist?