Homily Feast of Corpus Christi Year C The gift of love and life

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Homily: Feast of Corpus Christi Year C


Reading 1: We know very little about the person Melchizedek. He was King of Jerusalem and priest of God. He recognized that Abraham was a man of God and that God was with Abraham. For it was God who enabled Abram to defeat his enemies. May God be blessed! Abram, in his turn, gave a tithe of what he had taken from his enemies in thanksgiving.


What are we here for? We have come to recognize what God has done for us in our lives. He brought us to salvation through the death and resurrection of his Son. We come to give thanks. We have come to acknowledge the blessings we have received this past week and to give thanks. We have come to offer our tithe as part of that thanksgiving, knowing that God enabled us to so work and earn a living. For this we return thanks to God through the gifts of bread and wine. These will be transformed into the Body and Blood of Christ.


Reading 2: Paul was not at the Last Supper but the Lord in revelation showed him what he did and wanted done. The specific insight Paul adds is the statement: “As often as you eat the bread and drink the cup you proclaim the death of the Lord until he comes.


Two Things: This is not a remembrance of a past event but a participation, of being present, making present Jesus’ death on the cross and all that it means in this moment and place for us. We are just as present at the Last Supper and on Calgary as were the Apostles and the women. Different times and different people but the same reality, the offering of Jesus to the Father for our salvation. To do this in remembrance of Jesus is not re-acting but making present the same event which will always be a present event because Jesus is the same Yesterday, today and forever.


The second point is that as we celebrate in the present moment the mystery of Jesus’ death and life, we are anticipating his coming again in glory. Jesus lives and we shall live eternally because of this Eucharistic gift to the Father.


Gospel: Three action are present. First, Jesus taught about the Kingdom of God, revealing God’s plan and message. Second, he cured those who were sick. This confirmed his word. Third, he gave them a foretaste, a foreshadowing of the great event to come, the Eucharistic banquet. He did this by taking care of their present hunger through the miracle of the multiplication of bread and fish, enough to feed five thousand with twelve large baskets of left overs.


The teaching, the healing and the feeding were a preparation for the Paschal mystery of love: the gift of his Body and Blood, the gift of salvation through his death on the cross, the gift of eternal life through his resurrection.


The Feast of Corpus Christi was instituted as a public witness of Jesus’ victory over our greatest enemy, death. “At its very heart, the Eucharist is the answer to the question of death, for it is the encounter with that love which is stronger than death. Corpus Christi is the response to this central Eucharistic mystery.”


Like Abraham, who is blessed by Melchizedek, we are blessed to hear God’s word, to be given the bread of life and the cup of salvation as our offering. In response, we are to act on the Word of God, to offer with Jesus ourselves to the Father and to become more like Christ as we share his divine life.

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