On the weekend of June 22-23, we’ll celebrate the Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ – what we know to be the Eucharist.
During today’s Prayer Guild, we invite you to reflect upon two aspects of this blessing of the Eucharist. First, that it is God’s gift of self through Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection; and second, that we are sent-out by our Church to others to be Jesus’ nourishing Body and Blood for them.
In moving beyond the Easter Season, we are now faced with living-out Jesus’ teachings daily, much like Jesus’ disciples who did likewise following Pentecost.
Jesus culminated his three years of teaching and healing by showing us two very clear examples of what it means to give oneself for others.
First, at the Last Supper, Jesus washed his disciples’ feet and reminded them, “I have set an example for you, so that you will do just what I have done for you”. (John 13: 15) We share life by doing and being for one another.
Second, Jesus also at that same time predicted his suffering and death as recalled and recorded by St. Paul in the second Reading for the Solemnity of the Body and Blood of Christ: “The Lord Jesus said, ‘This is my body that is for you. This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this in remembrance of me’.” (1 Corinthians 11: 24-25)
In response to Jesus’ command, “Go to all peoples everywhere and make them my disciples” (Matthew 28: 19), our Maryknoll Society was founded and commissioned 108 years ago to go out to the world in service and self-sacrifice as representatives of the Catholic Church in the United States to become God’s word and Jesus’ nourishing Body and Blood for others.
Pope Francis reminds us in The Joy of the Gospel that, if we have experienced God’s love in Jesus Christ, then through our Baptism we’re all sent as “missionary disciples” in self-giving to our sisters and brothers throughout the world (#120).
It has been popularly noted recently that “mission is from everywhere and to everywhere”.
In light of God’s gift of mission through Jesus, let’s reflect for a moment on the question: How am I personally and how are we as the Body of Christ here in the U.S. receiving the presence and service of those priests, Sisters, Brothers and Religious sent to serve us from among the Body of Christ around the world?