Saint Thomas of Canterbury, Bolton

Stay with us, Lord, on our journey

Cycle B

Feast of the Body and Blood of Christ

dali - last supper.jpg

 

Mark 14:12-16. 22-26

“This is my body. This is my blood.”

We celebrate the Eucharist because Jesus told us to. On the night before he died, when celebrating the Passover Meal with his disciples, Jesus took the unleavened bread, blessed it, broke it, and gave it to them saying “take it; this is my body”. Then he took the cup of wine, gave it to them and said “this is my blood”. Through the signs of bread and wine, and by his declaration that these are now his body and blood, Jesus gave himself to his disciples. Then he told them to continue to do what he had done, telling them: “do this in memory of me”. So to this day, in obedience to his command, disciples of Jesus have continued to do what he did at the Last Supper.

The Mass then is our continuation of the Last Supper, our sacred meal. To some it may seem strange that Jesus should have given us a meal as our central and most impor¬tant act of worship; that some token food and drink should be at the heart of our Christian life! Yes, it’s true, to an onlooker it could at first seem rather strange, but not when you have reflected a bit further on the signifi¬cance of this food and drink. Quite simply, food and drink, however plain they may be, are life: if you don’t eat and drink, you won’t, live.

Now that is the reality that lies behind our Lord’s use of food in our life with him. In baptism he has brought us into new life, his own risen, glorious life as Son of God. Born in baptism, we are strengthened in confirmation with the gift of his breath of life, the Holy Spirit. But that life has to be nourished and Jesus offers us not just food but himself to be our food. He offers us not just life, but his own divine, eternal life. “Take this and eat it, this is my body”, this is Me, and I give myself to you so that I may live in you and you in me, so that you and I may be one.