United With Christ In The Eucharist
In this month of June, we celebrate the Solemnity of Corpus Christi, the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ. Perhaps like me, you have at least once wondered about this mystery—that when we receive Holy Communion, we are actually receiving the body and blood of Jesus Christ. Once Jesus said to the Jewish people, “Unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you.” (John 6:53) Then many disciples left Jesus because this sounded so absurd. But what a blessing it is for us today, that after his death, the truth of Jesus’ message was unfolded, and we are cherishing the meaning of Jesus’ passion and the Eucharist he established for all generations to come!
The celebration of the Eucharist has never ceased to this day, even in the present Covid situation, when we often have to receive Communion “spiritually.” The sensation may not be the same, but by faith we are able to receive the Eucharist spiritually, abiding in Jesus’ invitation as He said, “Take, eat; this is my body.” (Matthew 26:26)
The Sacrament of Communion unites us with Christ. As the body of Christ is one, I believe that when someone cannot pray, someone in the body of Christ is praying; and when someone cannot be receiving Communion, someone in the body of Christ is receiving it, and by faith we are mutually sustained. As we see today the heart- wrenching war in Ukraine, I am sure that, when receiving Communion, many especially have in mind the plight of our brothers and sisters in Christ who are involved in that terrible war. May our Lord hear our cries for peace!
The Bible tells us that Jesus is the Word made flesh. When we receive Communion, we are also receiving him who is the Word Incarnate. Is it not incredible that Jesus, who is God and the Word which is God, actually dwells in us, together with the Holy Spirit? With Christ in us, the living Word is also inside us. Oh, how we are upheld every day by his promises such as, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved--you and your family” (Acts 16:31). Or, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” (Philippians 4:13) Or, “By his stripes we are healed.” (Isaiah 53:5)
His Word never dies and never changes. Jesus said, “Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.” (Matthew 24:35) When we receive Jesus inside us, the Word of God comes inside us, too, to strengthen us, encourage us and build on us. In the Eucharist, Jesus is being offered to us, loving us to the extent that he died for each one of us, freeing us from sin and forever uniting us to himself.
Happy feast of Corpus Christi! Thank you, Jesus!
By Mutsuko Smith