First Reading: Ex 24:3-8; Psalm: 116. R. v. 13; Second Reading: Heb 9:11-15; Gospel: Mk 14:12-16. 22-26 




A boy walked up to a priest and asked? “Fr, why do priests always have the larger portion?” As the priest was trying to figure out what possibly the boy could be saying; the boy followed up with a more precise question – “Fr, I mean at Mass. Why should the priest eat the big wafer while the rest of us are served the small ones?” The priest explained that why the celebrant’s bread is bigger in size is just for visibility sake during consecration; otherwise it is not different from the small ones others receive. And the boy replied; “A taste of it will convince me.”

As we celebrate today the Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Jesus Christ, I suppose that many Catholics if not all are not ignorant of this great mystery that we celebrate and receive every day at Mass. The Holy Eucharist is what we celebrate, what we receive, and what we become. This is not new to us. Also, on a day like this, the homily may not be saying anything new, but a reminder of the indispensability of this sacred meal for our spiritual nourishment; for the Eucharist is the source and summit of the Christian life.

Today, I will not bore us with high-sounding theological terminologies that we are used to hearing on a day like this. I guess we are tired of hearing them. But I will like us to reflect on who we see, touch, consume and become daily at Mass but perhaps are not really and fully conscious of His presence. This is not about the contempt of familiarity that could breed over time. This is also not about the smallness or the bigness of the bread or the taste of it; for this does not determine the presence of Christ in the Eucharist. Our reflection today is about the consciousness of Divine Presence in the consecrated bread and wine without which we lack reverence and genuine communion for and with Christ in the Eucharist.

The Holy Mass we celebrate every day is in obedience to the command of Christ – “Do this in remembrance of me.” (1 Cor 11:24). And at every Mass, we receive the Body of Christ. As we read in our gospel reading of today, Jesus did not give us his raw flesh and blood to eat and drink. He offered this in the forms of bread and wine. Jesus took bread, blessed and broke it, and said, “Take; this is my body.” And he took a chalice, and after giving thanks, said; “This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many.” Now, this is where faith must always rise beyond the senses, otherwise we lose that consciousness of Divine Presence in the consecrated species. Here is the mystery. What we receive is beneath the bread and wine and not the bread and wine itself. What we believe and receive is what only the eyes of faith can see and not really what the senses perceive.

The reception of the Body of Christ in the forms of bread and wine every day at Mass could make us lose consciousness of who we receive in the Eucharist if we do not immerse ourselves fully in the mysteries of the Holy Mass. The danger of appearances is that it can conceal the essence of things. Appearances can make us believe that what we see and touch are all there is to a thing. But it takes reasoning to discover that there are realities beyond the senses; and it takes faith to accept that there are things that sense and reason cannot perceive or explain.

Take for example, the senses can perceive the human body; but reason tells us that every human being has a spirit; and faith reveals that the human soul is sourced from a Supreme Being. But it takes conscious reflection for us to constantly remember that there is more to our existence than the physical body.

Christ comes to us every day at Mass in the appearances of bread and wine. But if we failed to immerse ourselves fully in the mysteries of the Holy Mass; we may lose that faith consciousness that it is Christ that we receive, body, soul, and divinity in the consecrated bread and wine.

To immerse ourselves fully in the mysteries of the Holy Mass, we need to create time for Eucharistic adoration. St Therese of Lisieux said; “Heaven for me is hidden in a little Host where Jesus, my Spouse, is veiled for love. I go to that Divine Furnace to draw out life, and there my Sweet Saviour listens to me night and day.” For St Therese, Eucharistic adoration is where we can nurture that faith consciousness that Christ is not only hidden in the little Host, but is alive in communion with us. Eucharistic adoration elevates our faith consciousness to the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist; for if we do not believe in His presence in the Eucharist, we will not stay and pray in adoration.

The relationship nurtured through Eucharistic adoration can help us immerse ourselves more fully in the mysteries of the Holy Mass. Such that when the consecrated bread is elevated, we longer see the bread but our Lord and God. And when we receive the Eucharistic, we no longer lose consciousness of who we receive – Christ really and fully present, body, soul, and divinity in the consecrated species.    

This is why the Church advises that we don’t rush to Mass but should be at Church at least ten to fifteen minutes to prepare ourselves for the Holy Mass. These few minutes of prayer before Mass predisposes and connects us to the mystery we are about to celebrate, and give God the space to prepare our hearts and help us participate and receive the graces of the Holy Mass more fully. But if we failed to do this, the Holy Mass may become bland and a mere routine we observe just for the sake of observing it. And when we receive Christ in the forms of bread and wine, we might lose that consciousness of his divine presence in what we consume and fail to build a genuine communion with Him.

The solemnity we celebrate today should help us renew our faith in the Eucharist and build a genuine communion with Christ. Prayer and Eucharistic adoration can strengthen this communion and help us grow into that faith awareness that the Eucharistic is beyond the bread we see; for the mystery we celebrate is hidden in appearances. It is then and only then that we can grow in faith to become what we celebrate, what we consume and what we receive. 


Lord Jesus, we believe in your presence in the Holy Eucharist. Help us to grow daily into that faith consciousness of your ever presence in the consecrated bread and wine; that we may build a genuine communion with you and become like you in all things. Amen

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