Sunday, 19 June 2022 : Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of the Lord, Corpus Christi (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : White

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, today we celebrate the Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of the Lord, also known as Corpus Christi, marking the commemoration of the Real Presence of the Lord in the Eucharist. Today we commemorate the Lord truly present in the Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist, which we partake and consume during every celebration of the Holy Mass. As Christians, we all firmly believe that the Eucharist we partake and receive in the Holy Mass is none other than the Most Holy and Precious Body and Blood of Our Lord Himself.

Although the appearance of the bread and wine remains, but the mystery of our faith in what is known as Transubstantiation means that the bread and wine had actually, by the power of God, through the priests, empowered by the Holy Spirit, and the authority given to them by the Lord through His Church, become the very essence, reality and matter of the Lord’s own Body and Blood. We have faith that this is the truth, and what we truly eat and drink is the Lord Himself, Whose Body has been broken for us, and Whose Blood has been shed and poured down to us, to wash us clean and to bring us to salvation and eternal life.

In our first reading today, we heard the account of the encounter between Abraham, the father of the faithful and Melchizedek, the High Priest of Salem and the High Priest of God Most High. In that occasion, Abraham gave offering to God through Melchizedek, who then offered Abraham’s offering to God, as His High Priest. Melchizedek according to Church tradition had always been a rather mysterious figure, but one who was highly respected and regarded, and there were many theories and explanations that some tried to provide with regards to Melchizedek. Some said that Melchizedek prefigured Christ Himself, in His role as the High Priest, just as Melchizedek being a High Priest of God as well.

Regardless what it was, the link between Melchizedek and Christ established Christ as the High Priest of all mankind, Who offered the sacrifice and offering on our behalf, for the absolution of our many sins. And this is where He uniquely offered on our behalf, the perfect and worthy offering, of none other than His own Precious Body and Blood, the only offering that is worthy enough for the atonement and forgiveness of our sins. Hence, Our Lord offered His sacrificial offering both as the High Priest as well as the Paschal Lamb being sacrificed.

In our second reading today, from the Epistle of St. Paul to the Corinthians, we heard the Apostle recounting to the faithful what happened at the night of the Last Supper, when the Lord Instituted the Holy Eucharist, by offering the bread and wine that He had blessed, and gave them to His disciples, saying clearly that the bread was truly His Body, broken and given to them, while the wine was truly His Blood, shed and poured on all the people, to all sinners, for the salvation of souls and for the forgiveness of sins. He instituted the Holy Eucharist to give us all the means by which we can be saved from the darkness of our sins.

At the Last Supper, the Lord began His offering as the New Passover and the New Covenant that He established with all of mankind. He offered His own Precious and Holy Body and Blood because in the past, the offering and sacrifice of even unblemished lamb was not sufficient for the absolution of the whole multitude of mankind’s many sins. At the original Passover in Egypt, which the Israelites henceforth commemorated every year, the Passover lamb was slain and then its blood used to mark the houses of the Israelites, that they might be rescued and freed from the slavery and suffering they endured in Egypt. Thus, in the New Passover that the Lord had brought with Him, He Himself, as the Paschal Lamb, and the High Priest, offer on our behalf, the sacrificial offering to redeem us and free us from the suffering and slavery to our sins.

But that sacrifice and offerings did not end at the Last Supper. On the contrary, everything that happened during the Passion of the Lord, His suffering and journey, the suffering and rejection He endured, and His Way of the Cross, culminating with His death and suffering on the Cross. It was at Good Friday that His sacrifice and offering was completed and made perfect, as He offered His own Body and Blood, the Divine Word Incarnate, as the perfect and unblemished offering that cleansed all the faithful from the taints of sin. Through the gift of the Holy Eucharist, the Lord has given us the assurance and guarantee of salvation and eternal life.

That is what the Lord also meant to do as highlighted in our Gospel passage today, as we heard from that the account of the miraculous feeding of the five thousand men with unknown thousands more of women and children with merely five bread and two fishes. He fed them all, and nourished them, giving them the strength to go on, as they were all hungry after following Him and listening to Him for His words and teachings. He then later on would tell them that He is the Bread of Life, the One Who had come into this world to bring life and nourish all of us, with the food that is His Body, and the drink that is His Blood, and as He said it Himself, all of us who share and partake in His Body and Blood shall never die and will have eternal life.

That is because when we eat His Body and drink His Blood, the Lord Himself has come to dwell within us, and He has made us into the Temple of His Holy Presence. As long as He remains in us and we remain in Him, we shall not be lost from Him, and we shall forever enjoy the glorious inheritance and true joy that can come from the Lord alone. The Lord has given His Body and Blood to us freely, and through this act of ultimate love and sacrifice, He has opened for us the gates of Heaven and the path to eternal life. This is what He has promised us and provided for us, and yet, many of us still do not have the firm faith in His providence and love.

Many of us still do not show that we truly believe in the Real Presence in the Eucharist. We may profess our faith in the Real Presence in the Eucharist, but from the way we behave and respond to the Eucharist more often than not showed just how little we appreciate the Lord’s Real Presence in the Eucharist, and how little the faith and love that we have in Him. We treated the Lord with indifference and even contempt, in the manner how we receive the Holy Eucharist, in our lack of respect for the Holy Mass and the important tenets of our Christian faith, and in not living our lives in accordance to what we have been expected as Christians.

Today, each and every one of us are reminded that we have been so fortunate that the Lord, our most loving Father, Creator and Master, have been so kind, patient and compassionate towards us that He has given us all His Son, to be Our Lord and Saviour, and by Whose sacrifice, both as our High Priest and Paschal Lamb, He has brought unto us the assurance and guarantee of salvation and eternal life, by giving us His own Body and His own Blood, for us to partake, that He may dwell in us, and that we may always be together with Him.

Let us remind ourselves that we are in the Holy Presence of God, that the Lord Himself has dwelled amongst us, and within us. Let us remind ourselves that we have to be worthy of Him, and strive to be better Christians for now on, in honouring and loving the most loving and perfect sacrifice that He has shown us, in bringing about our salvation. Let us all deepen our faith from now on, in the Real Presence in the Eucharist, that what we receive in the Holy Eucharist, is truly real Body and the real Blood of Our Lord, and not just merely bread and wine, or just merely a symbol.

And we have to begin that from ourselves. We have to give due reverence and honour to the Holy Eucharist, in the manner we receive it, such that we ensure that we are in a proper disposition and state of grace, just as St. Paul said that it would be harmful for Christians who are not in the state of grace to partake of the Holy Eucharist. We have to keep in mind that our every actions and deeds reflect our faith and what we believe in, and how can we expect others to believe in the Real Presence in the Eucharist, Transubstantiation and that the Most Holy and Precious Body and Blood of the Lord is truly present in the Eucharist, at every celebration of the Holy Mass, if we ourselves have not wholeheartedly believed in it and showed that we truly believe?

May the Lord, Who has given us His own Precious Body and Blood, for our salvation, continue to love us and may He strengthen each and every one of us by His grace and love. May all of us draw ever closer to the Lord and His saving grace, with each and every moments of our lives. May God bless us all and be with all of our works, efforts and good endeavours, now and always. Amen.

Sunday, 19 June 2022 : Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of the Lord, Corpus Christi (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

Luke 9 : 11b-17

At that time, Jesus welcomed the people of Bethsaida, and began speaking about the kingdom of God, curing those who needed healing. The day was drawing to a close, and the Twelve drew near to tell Him, “Send the crowd away, and let them go into the villages and farms around, to find lodging and food, for we are here in a lonely place.”

But Jesus replied, “You yourselves, give them something to eat.” They answered, “We have only five loaves and two fish. Do You want us to go and buy food for all this crowd?” for there were about five thousand men. Then Jesus said to His disciples, “Make them sit down in groups of fifty.”

So they made all of them sit down. Jesus then took the five loaves and two fish, and, raising His eyes to heaven, pronounced a blessing over them; He broke them, and gave them to the disciples to distribute to the crowd. They ate and everyone had enough; and when they gathered up what was left, twelve baskets were filled with broken pieces.

Sunday, 19 June 2022 : Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of the Lord, Corpus Christi (Second Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

1 Corinthians 11 : 23-26

This is the tradition of the Lord that I received and that in my turn I have handed on to you; the Lord Jesus, on the night that He was delivered up, took bread and, after giving thanks, broke it, saying, “This is My Body which is broken for you; do this in memory of Me.”

In the same manner, taking the cup after the supper, He said, “This cup is the new Covenant in My Blood. Whenever you drink it, do it in memory of Me.” So, then, whenever you eat of this bread and drink from this cup, you are proclaiming the death of the Lord until He comes.

Sunday, 19 June 2022 : Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of the Lord, Corpus Christi (Psalm)

Liturgical Colour : White

Psalm 109 : 1, 2, 3, 4

The Lord said to my Lord, “Sit at My right hand till I make Your foes Your footstool.”

From Zion the Lord will extend Your mighty sceptre and You will rule in the midst of Your enemies.

Yours is royal dignity from the day You were born in holy majesty. Like dew from the womb of the dawn, I have begotten You.

The Lord has sworn, and He will not take back His word : “You are a Priest forever in the order of Melchizedek.”

Sunday, 19 June 2022 : Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of the Lord, Corpus Christi (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

Genesis 14 : 18-20

Then Melchizedek, king of Salem, brought bread and wine; he was a priest of God Most High, and he blessed Abram saying, “Blessed be Abram by God Most High, Maker of heaven and earth! And blessed be God Most High Who has delivered your enemies into your hands!”

And Abram gave him a tenth part of everything.

Sunday, 19 June 2022 : Twelfth Sunday of Ordinary Time (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, this Sunday as we listened to the words of the Scriptures, we are all called to seek the Lord, in Whom alone lies our salvation and hope. Through the Lord alone we will gain an eternity of happiness and true joy, and the true satisfaction for our lives. The Lord has come into our midst to bring us His help and reassurance, delivering all of us from our troubles and trials. This is the message that the Scripture passages today has presented to us, reminding us to keep our faith in the Lord and to bear our crosses in life together with God, with faith and joy.

In our first reading today, we heard of the words from the prophet Zechariah, who began his ministry in the years following the return of the exiled Israelites from the lands of Babylon and other distant lands back to their lands, during the early years of the Persian Empire. The prophet Zechariah prophesied and spoke of the coming of the salvation of God, that will come through the One Whom He would send into this world, the Saviour and Deliverer Who would restore the people and reconcile them fully to God, after they had been separated from Him, punished and humiliated because of all their disobedience and sins.

The prophet Zechariah spoke prophetically about the One Whom the people would pierce, and how the sorrowful mourning for Him would truly be great, and how on that very day, the Lord would spring forth His salvation and grace to all of His people. And all of that were clear references and prophetic revelation about what the God Himself would do through His Son, Our Lord Jesus Christ. Surely we are all familiar with how the Lord Jesus suffered, rejected by the people, betrayed and abandoned by His disciples, and then put to bear the burden of the Cross, which He then carried obediently to Calvary, where He died for each and every one of us, pierced in His hands, feet and side, by our sins and our transgressions.

The prophet Zechariah was obviously not speaking about the liberation that had by that time come upon the people of God, who had been rescued by the decree and action of the King of Persia, Cyrus the Great, years prior to Zechariah’s own ministry. Instead, Zechariah was speaking about the coming of the Lord, the Messiah or Saviour Whom God has promised to His people. It was by the actions carried out by the Lord Jesus that the salvation, light and hope from God has come into our midst, revealing to us that sin and death do not have the final say over us. Through Him, we have seen the path to our salvation and eternal life.

If only that more of us can believe in the Lord wholeheartedly and trust in His providence and love, then many more people would have come to believe in God and be well on their way to His salvation and grace. Unfortunately, many among us are still unable to entrust ourselves to Him, because of various reasons, but most commonly is because we do not yet know Him well enough. The Lord has revealed Himself to His disciples and in our Gospel today, He asked them who they thought He was. And the disciples frankly told Him that others said that He was one of the Prophets or Elijah himself returning from Heaven, but St. Peter told the Lord right away that he believed in Him as the Holy One of God, the Messiah.

It is that kind of faith that we ought to have, brothers and sisters in Christ, considering just how much God had gone through in His efforts to reach out to us and to love us, despite us all being sinners and having disobeyed Him time and time again. Despite our mistakes and transgressions, the Lord kept on patiently reaching out to us and loving us, because each and every one of us are truly precious to Him, and as St. Paul mentioned in our second reading today, in his Epistle to the Galatians, there are no distinctions between Jews or Greeks, or anyone based on their birth or by any other categories or divisions. Each and every children of God are equally beloved and cared for by Him.

And so great is that love, that as mentioned, He willingly took up His Cross and endured the whole burden of its weight, for our sake. The whole weight of the Cross is not just the physical weight of the wood of the Cross, but even heavier is the combined weight and burden of our innumerable sins, of all mankind past, present and future. Every single man that had existed, exists now which includes all of us, and will exist in the future, all of their sins and the consequences and punishments had been borne by Christ, Who offered Himself on the Cross for our sake, that all of us may be saved through Him, through our faith and trust in Him.

The Lord has generously reached out to us out of His enduring and everlasting love. But do we also reciprocate His love as well? Do we show Him the same love and devotion, the same commitment and love that we should have shown Him? We have been reminded of how great the love that God has shown us, and now, we are all challenged and called to love God and trust Him more, to be His faithful witnesses and courageous disciples, in proclaiming His truth and hope to all the whole world, to our respective communities today. That is our Christian calling and mission, and we must not forget about that, and we have to embrace that wholeheartedly as well.

May the Lord, our loving God, Father and Creator be with us always, and may He continue to strengthen us in our faith, so that in everything we say and do, in our every actions in life, we may always glorify the Lord and be exemplary in all things, inspiring many more people to come to believe in God as well. Let us all renew our faith and commitment to the Lord, and let us do our best to live our lives as missionary disciples of Christ, at every opportunities available to us. May God bless our every good efforts and endeavours, now and always. Amen.

Sunday, 19 June 2022 : Twelfth Sunday of Ordinary Time (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Luke 9 : 18-24

At that time, one day, when Jesus was praying alone, not far from His disciples, He asked them, “What do people say about Me?” And they answered, “Some say, that You are John the Baptist; others say, that You are Elijah; and still others, that You are one of the prophets of old, risen from the dead.”

Again Jesus asked them, “But who do you say that I am?” Peter answered, “The Messiah of God.” Then Jesus spoke to them, giving them strict orders not to tell this to anyone. And He added, “The Son of Man must suffer many things. He will be rejected by the elders and chief priests and teachers of the Law, and be put to death. Then after three days He will be raised to life.”

Jesus also said to all the people, “If you wish to be a follower of Mine, deny yourself and take up your cross each day, and follow Me! For if you choose to save your life, you will lose it; but if you lose your life for My sake, you will save it.”

Sunday, 19 June 2022 : Twelfth Sunday of Ordinary Time (Second Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Galatians 3 : 26-29

Now, in Christ Jesus, all of you are sons and daughters of God, through faith. All of you, who were given to Christ through Baptism, have put on Christ. Here, there is no longer any difference between Jew or Greek, or between slave or freed, or between man and woman : but all of you are one, in Christ Jesus. And because you belong to Christ, you are of Abraham’s race and you are to inherit God’s promise.

Sunday, 19 June 2022 : Twelfth Sunday of Ordinary Time (Psalm)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Psalm 62 : 2abc, 2d-4, 5-6, 8-9

O God, You are my God, it is You I seek; for You, my body longs and my soul thirsts, as a dry and weary land without water.

Thus have I gazed upon You in the Sanctuary, to see Your power and Your glory. Your love is better than life, my lips will glorify You.

I will praise You as long as I live, lift up my hands and call on Your Name. As with the richest food, my soul will feast; my mouth will praise You with joyful lips.

For You have been my help; I sing in the shadow of Your wings. My soul clings to You; Your right hand upholds me.

Sunday, 19 June 2022 : Twelfth Sunday of Ordinary Time (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Zechariah 12 : 10-11 and Zechariah 13 : 1

“I will pour out on the family of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem a spirit of love and supplication. They will look at the One Who was pierced; and mourn for Him, as for an only child, weeping bitterly, as for a firstborn. The mourning in Jerusalem will be as great as the mourning of Haddadrimmon in the plain of Megiddo.”

“On that day, a spring will be opened for the family of David and for the inhabitants of Jerusalem, to cleanse themselves of sin and defilement,” YHVH, God of hosts says.