Homily for June 14 - Corpus Christi

     I remember visiting a family who had gathered around the bedside of their dying mother and grandmother. Several of the family members began to sing songs and hymns. Soon the woman opened her eyes, smiled and softly said, “That’s sweet.” Today we are celebrating the Body and Blood of Christ [Corpus Christi]. I want to take this opportunity and speak to you about the Sweetness of the Eucharist.

     After almost three months of no Sunday Mass because of the coronavirus pandemic we rejoice in sharing in the sweetness of the Eucharist again. Many of us are filled with great joy as we gather to celebrate Mass and partake in this Thanksgiving (the word “Eucharist” means thanksgiving). Here the wounded and hungry soul is fed at this table - the world’s gnawing hunger for love, peace, healing, unity, mercy, and justice. How sweet it is! We are filled with awe and wonder of His Real Presence in bread and wine that becomes His Body and Blood.

     In every Eucharist we see the fulfillment of Jesus’ promise that he made to the disciples in today’s gospel. “Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him on the last day. For My flesh is true food and My blood is true drink. Whoever eats My flesh and drinks My blood remains in me and I in him.” (John 6:54-56) Therefore, in the form of bread and wine we receive the Lord - Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity in the Blessed Sacrament. Indeed, the Sweetness of the Eucharist. Just think about this: Christ Jesus invites us to supper (as we recall the Last Supper he shared with the disciples), and he invites us to a thanksgiving meal with Him. How sweet it is! Every time we come to Mass and receive the Eucharist, Jesus invites us to dine with Him.

     In our second reading today St. Paul writes to the Corinthians. “Is not the cup of blessing we share a sharing in the blood of Christ? And is not the bread we break a sharing in the body of Christ? (1 Corinthians 10:16) In this Eucharist Jesus is sharing his very body and blood with us. That is sweet! It is awesome! In one of his writings, St. Thomas Aquinas wrote: “O precious and wonderful banquet, that brings us salvation and contains all sweetness … no one can fully express the sweetness of this sacrament … “

     So, are you desiring the Sweetness of the Eucharist? In the Preface during Mass today we pray to the Lord that we be “… bathed in the sweetness of your grace … “ May the grace of the Lord fill your heart and soul this day and every day as you and I share in the Sweetness of the Eucharist.