Homily – Corpus Christi – 2nd June 2024

Today we recognise and celebrate the great feast of Corpus Christi, the Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ. This feast invites us to ponder the profound mystery of the Eucharist, the source and summit of our Christian life.

We celebrate the fact that the presence of God with us is to be found in a very tangible material way. Christ’s presence to his people is a total one, in body as well as in spirit.

The Eucharist is a mystery of presence, sacrifice, and communion.

First, the Mystery of Presence

In the Eucharist, Christ is truly present—Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity. This presence is not symbolic but substantial. When we approach the altar to receive Holy Communion, we encounter the living Christ, the same Jesus who walked the streets of Galilee, healed the sick, and raised the dead. This profound mystery calls us to a deep reverence and awe. The consecrated host and wine are not mere symbols; they are the real presence of our Lord, a presence that transforms us if we allow it.

Second, the Mystery of Sacrifice

The Eucharist is also a sacrifice, the re-presentation of Christ’s one eternal sacrifice on Calvary. At every Mass, we are brought to the foot of the Cross. The sacrifice of the altar is the same sacrifice of Jesus on the Cross, offered once for all. This sacrificial dimension reminds us that the Eucharist is not just a meal but an offering. When we participate in the Mass, we are invited to unite our own sufferings, our own sacrifices, with Christ’s perfect offering. This unity brings redemption and sanctification to our lives.

Third, the Mystery of Communion

Finally, the Eucharist is a mystery of communion. In receiving the Body and Blood of Christ, we are drawn into a profound union with Him and with each other. The word “communion” itself implies a coming together, a unity. Through the Eucharist, we become the Body of Christ. Saint Paul tells us, “Because there is one bread, we who are many are one body, for we all partake of the one bread” (1 Corinthians 10:17). This sacramental union calls us to live out our Christian vocation in love and service, reflecting the unity and love of the Triune God.

As we celebrate this great feast, let us remember the words of Saint Augustine: “Behold what you are, become what you receive.” The Eucharist is a call to transformation. As we receive Christ into our hearts and bodies, we are called to become more like Him, to be His hands and feet in the world, bringing His love, mercy, and peace to all we encounter.

Let us approach the Eucharist with hearts full of gratitude, reverence, and love. May our participation in this sacred mystery deepen our faith, strengthen our hope, and enkindle our charity. And may we always remember that in the Eucharist, we receive nothing less than Christ Himself, the Bread of Life, the Cup of Salvation.

Fr Andrew