Readings for Sunday June 10, The Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ
Exodus 24:3-8; Hebrews 9:11-15;
Mark 14:12-16, 22-26
As we celebrate the Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ we are presented with a rich opportunity to examine our own eucharistic theology. Do not be surprised or troubled if your relationship and understanding of Eucharist, your theology, has changed over time. During the last 10 years, my own theology of the Eucharist has grown from “awe and adoration” into “discernment and action.”
In the Catechism we learn that the Eucharist is “the source and summit of the Christian life.” The Eucharist gives us direction and gives direction to our faith. Eucharist sets us in motion. By its incumbent grace, we are sent out to be followers of Jesus Christ, to live out the Gospel in this life for the glory of God.
In the Old Testament readings of today’s Solemnity, everything flows to Christ’s institution of the Eucharist which is set out in the Gospel narrative. In the Gospel we read the words that are so familiar to us at Mass, “He took bread…”
But, before we hear these words of Jesus, there are words spoken by the disciples that should resonate for us. Jesus’ disciples said to him, “Where do you want us to go and prepare for you to eat the Passover?” (Mk 14:12).
Until this moment in the Gospel of Mark, the disciples had simply been following Jesus. They had been learning from him and finding their way in a new way of life according to his teaching. Jesus was their teacher and leader but their role in carrying forward the Gospel message had yet to be revealed.
Jesus calls the first disciples, Simon and his brother Andrew, by saying, “Come after me…” (Mk 1:17) and they begin to follow him. But now, these fishermen, having become fishers of men, are beginning to set out on their own, not according to their own will but on their own nevertheless, and guided still by Jesus.
We can make it our prayer on this solemnity, as we say, “Lord, where do you want us to go?”
Now does our eucharistic theology inform our faith, lived out in this life? Is the Eucharist something we receive, or someone we desire a deeper and deeper relationship with? Does receiving the Eucharist satisfy our Sunday obligation, or challenge us to go in peace, glorifying the Lord by our life?
The Eucharist challenges us all. For some we are challenged to a life of discernment and spiritual growth. But all of us are challenged to seek God’s will and ask him, where shall we go for you? We need only to embrace the answers that we receive in the stillness of our prayer, and then to go out and live our faith that is brought to its summit in the sublime gift of the Body and Blood of Christ, given for us.
Deacon Davis ministers at Sacred Heart Church in Chestertown, Md.