Homily – Body and Blood of Christ

We are preparing for the feast of the Sacred Heart.  This devotion became popular after apparitions of our Lord to St. Margaret Mary.   During these apparitions he said to her:  “Behold this heart that has loved so much and is so little loved in return”  Today we celebrate the feast of the Body and Blood of Christ – the mystery of the Holy Eucharist.   Jesus shows his love for us especially in the Holy Eucharist.  How do we love our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament in return?

St. Paul says love does not boast – it is humble.  Jesus gives us an example of humility in the Holy Eucharist.  He who the all powerful God of the universe comes to us hidden in a tiny piece of bread.   He goes wherever the priest takes him.  If we treat him disrespectfully he does not strike us with lightning.  Jesus has become so little so humble in order to be with us.   We ought to humble ourselves before him.  The liturgy prescribes for us various gestures of humility – genuflection when we enter the Church, kneeling when our Lord is on the altar and making a reverent bow of the head when approaching Holy Communion.  We can examine ourselves – are these true gestures of humility – am I aware I am humbling myself before Jesus Christ, my God who is here among us?   Are my genuflections, my bows done carefully and reverently?

Jesus shows his love through his closeness to us.  Naturally we want to be close to those we love.   Jesus has come close to us in the Holy Eucharist.   In almost any city in the world we can find a tabernacle, we can visit our Lord Jesus Christ.   Holy Mass is available to us at various times not only on Saturday and Sunday but also during the week.  Jesus accompanies us in our day to day life.    We can respond to this closeness by being aware of our Lord’s presence and opening our hearts to him.   Husband and Wife can live in the same house and yet lack true closeness – their bodies are close but their hearts and minds are far apart.  We can be close to our Lord physically – receiving him in holy Communion – but if we are thinking about other things – what am I going to eat after mass?  Who is winning the soccer game? – we are still spiritually far away.  We need to make sure that when we receive communion we also take time to pray, humbly opening our heart to Jesus Christ, entering into a sincere conversation with him.

In the Eucharist Jesus reveals his generosity.  Jesus does not just give us something – he gives us everything –  his whole body and blood, his soul and divinity.   Jesus holds back nothing.    Let us also be generous with the Lord.  One of the greatest things we can give to our Lord is our time – to take time to be with him.  Each Friday in our parish we have the adoration of the Blessed Sacrament.  The adoration of the Blessed Sacrament is not only a beautiful opportunity for prayer – it also an opportunity to make reparation – to respond to the love of Jesus that is so rarely responded to.   In the summer time we always have the problem of less people coming to adore our Lord and at times our Lord is left in the Church alone.  Let us take some time to accompany him and to give back a little for his great love to us.

Jesus in the mystery of the Holy Eucharist gives us an example of humility, closeness and generosity.  Let us become more humble in our acts of vernation, let us be close spiritually and not merely physically, let us be generous in giving some time to the Lord.