Liturgical Colour : White
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, on this day, we commemorate the great Solemnity of the Body and Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Solemnity of Corpus Christi or Corpus Domini. On this great solemnity, which is traditionally also celebrated on the previous week Thursday, we celebrate the very centre of the mysteries of our faith, namely the fact that our Lord and God, had given Himself to us, through the offering of bread and wine which He transformed into the very essence and matter of His own Body and Blood.
And this perfectly summarises our faith in the Real Presence of God in the Eucharist, which we believe to be the complete and real transformation of those elements of bread and wine into God Himself, and not just some mere symbolic representations or memorial of what the Lord had done at the Last Supper. At every celebration of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, the priest did what Jesus Himself had done at that moment, when He gave His own Body and Blood for the salvation of all those who share in them.
But lest we misunderstand or think wrongly of it, we should look on the common misconception about the Real Presence in the Eucharist. Firstly, indeed the bread and wine which the priests offer in the same manner as the High Priest of God, Melchizedek had offered them, had been transformed completely in matter and substance to that of God Himself, and yet at the same time, visually they remain as bread and wine, and by taste, they still taste like that of bread and wine.
We tend to link and relate what our senses have received and felt with our understanding and comprehension on things that are around us. And that is why, indeed, it is not easy for us to understand and accept that the mere bread and wine is the very same as the Lord, Master and King of all the universe, including that all of us, and how the wholeness of that great Divine being is contained in His entirety, within that small piece of bread or within that small volume of wine.
But it is the same, with how the same Lord and God has become a humble and mere Man, the Lord and Master of all the universe becomes like one of His own creations. It is part of the great mysteries that is our faith, and requires all of us to overcome our doubts and our reluctance to believe in what our Lord has taught us, the truth which He brings us all.
If we read the Gospel today, what Jesus had done there, the famous miracle of the multiplication of the five loaves and two fish, where Jesus multiplied them to fill the stomachs of five thousand men and countless thousands other women and children, and yet still managing to gather twelve basketful of leftover bread, all of these are beyond our normal human comprehension, and yet it shows once again the reality of God, Who He is, and what He is going to do to us and show to us through His love.
By feeding the people, Jesus is showing Himself as a Shepherd, as a loving Father and Lover of us all, that He intends to give us good things and bless us, and through the same love, He established a new and everlasting covenant with us all, not with the blood of animals, goats, lambs or doves, but with the very Blood and essence of His own, the Precious Body and Blood of the Lamb of God, offered and given for us all for our salvation.
In the past, God has established His covenant with mankind many times, and renewed them many times, by the sealing of the covenant with the offering of the fats and blood of lambs and goats on the holy and blessed altars, just as what He had established with Adam, with Noah, with Abraham, Moses and all the other figures we knew from the history of our faith, but all these were imperfect offerings and serve only temporarily.
Indeed, as the Epistle to the Hebrews and in the other sources mentioned, when the priests offered the sin offerings of goats and lambs on the altar, they were offering these for themselves, as well as for the sins of the people who had been entrusted to their care. And no amount of animal blood offering and sacrifices can erase the great entirety of the sins and wickedness of all mankind. Only One can do so.
And that one source from where salvation came, was the Lord, and is the Lord our God Himself, Who by His own will and power, came to share in our own humanity, taking up the form of our own flesh and blood, so that by uniting us to Himself in spirit and in the essence of our creation, He may gather us all and bring us to share with Him the glory of His salvation, and the eternal life He brought with Him.
After all, what is more precious than the very Blood of the Lamb of God, Who is flawless and perfect, without blame and holy? It is the only one that can heal us all and free us all from our sins, from all of our faults and iniquities for all eternity. The saints and martyrs as represented in the vision of St. John in the Book of Revelations wore white robes that has been cleansed in the Blood of the Lamb, because they worthily share in the Body and Blood of our Lord, and have been tested, and their faith has been found true and worthy of God.
Thus, it is a reminder to all of us as well. Have we been faithful to God, and have we shared worthily in the Most Precious Body and Blood of our Lord? When we welcome the Lord Himself through the Eucharist into ourselves, in reality, the Lord Himself has come to dwell in us, and we become the Temple and House of our God. And if God dwells in us, certainly, we should make sure that this Temple, that is our body, our mind, heart and soul are clear from filth and fornication.
Henceforth, shall we all reevaluate our lives, all of our actions and deeds? Shall we all remember the things which we have done all these while? Have we kept our Temple of the Lord’s Presence that is our body, mind, heart and soul worthy and in good condition? If we truly believe that Jesus our Lord is truly present in the bread and wine which have been transformed into the very substance and essence of our Lord, should we not think many times before we even contemplate sinning before God?
And if any of us are to doubt Him because we think that in every sacrifice of the Mass, Christ is being made to repeat again and again the sacrifice for the salvation of our souls, as some of those who refused to believe has accused the Church of God, then we ought to know and understand that, the priests, whom God had called and chosen from among us, are all His representatives, who lead all the faithful to offer their prayers and offerings to God, and to unite it with the sacrifice made by our Lord at the Altar of Calvary.
This means that the Holy Mass and the Eucharist we celebrate there is the same sacrifice which Jesus our Lord made at Calvary, when on that day, He laid Himself to be hung on the cross between the heavens and the earth, that by that singular and ultimate offering, God may deliver us all from our sins and from our fate of damnation and annihilation into eternal life.
Therefore, from now on, let us all rejuvenate our devotion to our Lord in the Most Precious Body and Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Most Holy Eucharist. Let us redouble our efforts in committing ourselves to He Who has given His all, even shedding His Blood for our sake. He has not even hesitated to lay down His life for us, so that we may live.
Let us all devote ourselves to Him and His cause, and from now on, do only things that are in accordance with His will and His ways, that our bodies and hearts, minds and souls may be free from sin and be a worthy House and dwelling place for our God, that we may find place in His salvation. God bless us all. Amen.