One Monk of the Order of Saint Benedict

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The Word of God and the Body of God reveal each other -- the homily worships both.

June 17, 2006

For the Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ

Mark 14:12-16,22-26
Exodus 24:3-8
Hebrews 9:11-15

Today the unified testimony of the Gospel and the Scriptures proclaims that God ties himself to humanity by a bond— a COVENANT— of flesh and blood.
The highest, deepest and eternal covenant is the one in which God ties himself to us in the flesh and blood of Christ.
Before Christ, God tied himself to humanity by the blood of a sacrificial animal.
Today in the Book of Exodus we see Moses take the blood of bulls.
Following God’s instruction, Moses pours half the blood on the altar.
The altar represents God.
The blood on the altar is the sign that God is making a life and death promise binding himself to the people.
After the people promise to obey God, Moses then sprinkles the other half of the bull’s blood on the people.
The blood on the people is a sign of their life and death promise binding them to God.
This is not God’s blood or human blood.
It’s just the blood of an animal.
However, the death and the blood of that animal was made into the chosen sign of a life and death promise between God and Israel to be faithful to each other.
Before there were any human beings, before there was a universe, the Son of God stood before the loving Father in the Spirit of gratitude and communion.
Before they made the universe— with or without the universe— the Son and Father have one Spirit as their eternal covenant with each other.
The eternal Son came to earth two thousand years ago and received the name “Jesus.”
On the day of his earthly arrival, a human heart, a human mind, a human body— human flesh and blood— began to belong to the Son of God in person.
Alive in the human flesh and blood of Jesus is the covenant— the relationship— of the eternal Son with his eternal Father.
When we eat and drink the flesh and blood of Christ, we are not just entering a relationship with God.
In the flesh and blood of Christ we are entering God’s relationship with HIMSELF.
The second letter of Saint Peter [1:4] dares to say it this way: we become participants taking communion in God’s own nature [theías koinonoì phúseos].
With these true and daring words, Saint Peter stops short of saying we become the equals of God.
In the Eucharist, God lets us eat, drink, live off and share in the relationship of God the Son with God the Father.
Not just our relationship with God, but God’s relationship with God!
On the day Christ calls us to rise from the dead in the new heavens and the new earth, we will know and enjoy with unspeakable pleasure that God’s love for HIMSELF is alive in us— alive in our own personal hearts and minds, alive in our own personal flesh and blood.
Let us keep in mind the relationship of Christ and the Father as we hear the words of the Eucharist today.
…looking up to heaven,
to you his almighty Father,
he gave you thanks and praise.
He broke the bread,
gave it to his disciples and said,
“Take this,
all of you,
and eat it.
This is my body
which will be given up for you.”
When supper was ended,
he took the cup.
Again [almighty Father] he gave you thanks and praise,
gave the cup to his disciples, and said,
“Take this,
all of you,
and drink from it.
This is the cup of my blood,
the blood of the new and everlasting covenant.”

On this solemn festival day of the Body and Blood of Christ, we offer the following prayer at the end of Mass.
Lord Jesus Christ,
You give us Your Body and Blood in the Eucharist
as a sign that even now WE SHARE YOUR LIFE.

Together with Christ, and by the power of the Spirit, may we always live for the Father.
Together with Christ, and by the power of the Spirit, may we always rejoice in knowing that the Father lives for us.

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I have posted further comments about the Eucharist as “covenant” on my other blog.

Click HERE for it.
That God Be Glorified in All


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