Homily – Fr. Michael Casagram, Becoming Living Members of Christ’s Body, 6/19/22

+BECOMING LIVING MEMBERS OF CHRIST’S BODY      19 June ‘22

This Sunday and each day of the week, the priest representing Christ, takes bread at this altar, giving thanks he raises it up saying: “This is my Body”. And then he takes the cup with wine saying: “This is my Blood which will be poured out for you and many for the forgiveness of sins.”

What takes place here at this altar is to take place in each of our lives all day long. Jesus, giving us his Body and Blood is an act of infinite love that seeks to evoke from each of us the total gift of ourselves in love for God and one another.

As St Paul has just reminded us in his first letter to the Corinthians recalling Christ’s words, this is Christ’s body for you, this is the cup of the new covenant in his blood, the blood carrying the very life of what is sacrificed. Each one of our lives is to become one with that of Christ so that we radiate his presence in everything we think, do or say. This Solemnity of Corpus Christi is to be a feast of the whole Christ, of our own lives as living members of his Body. It is to be our own feast in a  profound sense if God incarnate is going to be experienced in our world today and isn’t this the meaning of the “new covenant” St Paul has told us about.

Our gospel from St Luke speaks to us on many levels. The apostles are worried about the crowd that has gathered around them in a deserted place, where there is no lodging or provisions. Jesus tells them to give those gathered food themselves though they have practically nothing to give to such a huge gathering, only a few loaves of bread and two fish. What a beautiful description of the many life situations we all find ourselves in.

What is expected of us, what we know needs to happen far exceeds our limited capacities. Whether it is the demands of family or community, facing a failed relationship, disillusionment with what is happening in the Church, our own weakness and sinfulness, being the loving persons we are called to be seems impossible. Here is when we hear Jesus asking us to trust in him, inviting us to give him our very limited resources which he will bless and then be used to meet all our needs and those of all around us.

Each of our lives is to become Eucharist for others all the day long as we allow our lives to be blessed and given in love to all in need. Whether it is how we get out of bed in the morning, offer our morning prayer or the Divine Office we are committed to, whether it is thinking of others’ needs before our own, sharing a kind word rather than a critical one, whether working rather than seeking comfort, giving a gracious smile rather than downcast eyes, showing compassionate rather than being judgmental, it is all about being Christ’s presence to all around us, to all  with whom we live and work each day.

When the priest, representing Christ, says at this altar “this is my Body, this is my Blood of the New Covenant we are each and all being called to be one with his loving sacrifice, a sacrifice that is to continually giving new life to our world.

(Gen. 14:18-20; 1 Cor. 11:23-26; Lk 9:11b-17)