Sunday’s Gospel, Corpus Christi, the Body & Blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ, 2nd June 2024

Sunday’s gospel –

Today we celebrate the great occasion of Corpus Christi: the very Body and Blood of Jesus Christ, that he gave us that we might receive the very essence of his being that we might be fulfilled on our journey towards salvation.

For Jewish scholars one of the reasons they dismiss the legitimacy of Jesus as the Christ is that he came, taught, allegedly worked miracles, died… and nothing changed. There was no coming of the Messiah to bring the People of Israel to glory (far from it) and we were still condemned to a sinful life here on Earth. What was the point of that?

But it misses the point. Jesus has left the most profound gift that he could possibly give to us: himself. He came that we might be saved from our sin and this could only be through, what we call, the Perfect Sacrifice; him giving himself as the sacrifice instead of the blood of goats and sheep from when Moses established the First Covenant between God and His Chosen People.

Humankind has known right from the start instinctively that it is right to love and praise God; and it has done it in the way it knew how: by sacrificing animals to God. This could never atone for the grievous sins that were committed against the Father by our first ancestors but it could show appreciation of God’s love for us.

The only way to have an effective sacrifice, one that would truly lead us back to the Father, was one that removed the barrier of sin that was between us and God. This could be only a sacrifice that defeated sin. It could only be Jesus Christ, the sacrificed one who defeated death and sin by his rising to new life.

His perfection allows us to approach the Father, and he has given us the opportunity to come before him every day with the Perfect Sacrament: the Body and Blood of Jesus. It really is that important; without the Last Supper, without the initiation of the Mass, without Jesus’ sacrifice for us, we would still be remote from God and unable to have heavenly sustenance on our journey through life.

Gospel Mark 14:12-16,22-26 ©

On the first day of Unleavened Bread, when the Passover lamb was sacrificed, his disciples said to Jesus, ‘Where do you want us to go and make the preparations for you to eat the passover?’ So he sent two of his disciples, saying to them, ‘Go into the city and you will meet a man carrying a pitcher of water. Follow him, and say to the owner of the house which he enters, “The Master says: Where is my dining room in which I can eat the passover with my disciples?” He will show you a large upper room furnished with couches, all prepared. Make the preparations for us there,’ The disciples set out and went to the city and found everything as he had told them, and prepared the Passover.

And as they were eating he took some bread, and when he had said the blessing he broke it and gave it to them. ‘Take it,’ he said ‘this is my body.’ Then he took a cup, and when he had returned thanks he gave it to them, and all drank from it, and he said to them, ‘This is my blood, the blood of the covenant, which is to be poured out for many. I tell you solemnly, I shall not drink any more wine until the day I drink the new wine in the kingdom of God.’

After psalms had been sung they left for the Mount of Olives.