Today we offer thanksgiving for the institution of the Eucharist
Urgent and important truths are often expressed in two words: new-improved, lean-mean, etc. The words have impact because they are engaging and brief. They grab our attention and focus it on the reality. Today’s feast, too, can be summarised in similar fashion: New Covenant, Corpus Christi. Each of these words has an impact because they engage our spirits, souls and bodies and grab our attention. Here are the people of Israel, six weeks after being delivered, hearing the words of the covenant: worship the one God alone, keep the Lord’s Day, etc. They had seen the Lord’s deeds of power. What did He want from them in return? Love God and follow His ways. Of course, they said ‘we agree’. But in short order they were worshiping the false gods of the lands they travelled through. Over and over again God forgave them and rescued them from their enemies. And over and over again they fell back into their evil habits. Doesn’t seem very different to how we sometimes break our covenant, does it? But Jesus took on the burden of our sin and paid the ultimate price in His own blood. This is the blood of the New Covenant, the blood shed on the cross for every man, woman and child’s redemption. The inevitable change of death meant that for those who latch onto Jesus’ death, our physical death is changed into victory. The Body broken once for us, the Blood poured out once for us, is still a living reality. Sometimes we look at the host and drink from the cup and wonder ‘what change?’ The physical appearances – colour, taste, feel, scent – are all the same before and after the Eucharistic prayer. But the change we need to show is that the Body of Christ changes us into one body ourselves. We can come together more often to pray and work together doing good, and we can show that we ourselves are as persons being changed into images of Christ. Yes, change is inevitable. With the grace we receive in this sacrament, growth can be both real and perceptible. Are you ready and willing to show this change?
Blessings, Fr Jonathan