Do This in Remembrance of Me

Post Date: June 14, 2022
Author: Jeff Borski

A Reflection on the Solemnity of The Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ, June 19, 2022.

Reading I: Genesis 14:18-20
Responsorial: Psalm 110:1, 2, 3, 4
Reading II: 1 Corinthians 11:23-26
Gospel: Luke 9:11b-17

This week we find ourselves between two Solemnities celebrated by the Church. This past Sunday was the Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity, and this coming Sunday, we will celebrate the Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ. These two Solemnities celebrate mysteries of the Church that can be somewhat perplexing. Three persons in one of the Holy Trinity, and the transubstantiation of the bread and wine into the real presence of the Body and Blood of Christ.

This Sunday, we will focus on the Body and Blood of Christ, the Eucharist. The Catechism of the Catholic Church most prominently describes it as the “Source and Summit of the Christian Life” (CCC 1324). It’s the source because the Eucharist enables us to make present and offer anew Jesus Christ’s one redemptive Sacrifice of Calvary, which began with his Passion (CCC 1362-68; 1341). It’s the summit because the Eucharist is truly a foretaste of heaven, in which we partake of Jesus’ body and blood as heaven and earth become most profoundly one.

It is easy to sit in the pews of the Church and look up to the Crucifix above the altar and see Jesus, our Christ, our Savior, bruised, beaten and bleeding. Maybe you have even seen a theatrical portrayal of the passion of Christ and witnessed the horrific torture that Jesus underwent on his way to and upon the cross. These images of Jesus can hardly be recognized in our celebration of the Eucharist. Yet this is the Sacrifice that we participate in at every Mass. It is how Jesus instituted His New Covenant and shares with us a foretaste of the Heavenly Kingdom to come.

Our readings for this weekend start with the foretelling of the establishment of the Eucharistic Feast in the Old Testament through the act of the king of Salem and priest of the most high God, Melchizedek. He brought out bread and wine to celebrate the goodness of God upon Abram.

The Gospel also manifests the Eucharistic Celebration. This passage is so important and central to the Christian life that it is documented in all four Gospels. It is where Jesus raises His eyes to heaven, and after saying the blessing over the five loaves of bread and two fish, he distributes them through the help of His disciples to a crowd of over five thousand. The blessing was so amazingly abundant that the collected scraps filled twelve wicker baskets.

But it is Paul, in his letter to the Corinthians, that we see the relevance of the Eucharistic Celebration proclaimed. Paul explains, “Jesus, on the night he was handed over, took bread, and, after he had given thanks, broke it and said, “This is my body that is for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” In the same way also, the cup, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.” For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the death of the Lord until he comes.” If we pay close attention to the Eucharistic Prayers said by the priest during the consecration of the bread and wine into the Body and Blood of Christ, we will hear these very words proclaimed.

Jesus establishes a New Covenant! This is a new way of sacrifice, similar to how the ancient Israelites ate the flesh of an unblemished lamb at the Passover meal in the Old Covenant. But the New Covenant that Jesus establishes is much more profound because there is only one Lamb, the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world (Jn 1:29, 35-36). The Eucharistic Sacrifice not only has continuing atoning power for the sins we commit daily (CCC 1366) but also liberates us from the human and earthly oppressor and provides us eternal life.

In my home, I have the above-pictured plaque saved from a construction salvage antiquities dealer. It was a very special gift that I continue to cherish because it is a constant reminder of the salvific power of the Eucharistic celebration that I am able to participate in at every Mass. I share this image with each of you in hopes that you, too, may find a way to focus more clearly on the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ within the Church and within your own homes, most especially on this Solemnity.

Blessings,

Deacon Jeff Borski

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