Browsing Homilies

The Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ (Corpus Christi)

Dt 8:2-3, 14b-16a | Ps 147 | 1 Cor 10:16-17 | Jn 6:51-58

Father Pedro Arrupe was a Spanish priest who served many years as the leader of the Jesuit order. He was a man of deep spirituality whom many people consider a saint. In his autobiography, he wrote a rather beautiful reflection on the love of God:

Nothing is more practical than finding God, that is, than falling in love in a quite absolute, final way. What you are in love with, what seizes your imagination, will affect everything. It will decide what will get you out of bed in the morning, what you will do with your evenings, how you will spend your weekends, what you read, who you know, what breaks your heart, and what amazes you with joy and gratitude. Fall in love, stay in love, and it will decide everything.

Falling in love with God makes all the difference. That is what God desires for us—that is why Jesus came to earth—so that we could fall in love with him. Jesus is God come down to earth—a God we could touch, that we could speak to, and that we could listen to. Jesus is a God whom we can fall in love with.

At the heart of today’s beautiful feast day, the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ (Corpus Christi), is this marvelous truth. God loves us and desires to be loved by us. He went to great lengths so that we could gaze with love upon him, touch him, and receive him into our bodies. The Eucharist is Christ’s greatest gift to the Church. If there were something greater, he would’ve given it to us.

I invite us today to fall in love, to re-fall in love, with Jesus: the Jesus who makes himself really present to us in the Eucharist. Look upon him with longing in your hearts. He is what every human heart desires. Seek him out in this great sacrament. He wants to make his home in you. Make him the center of your life. Find your purpose in the One who wants to spend eternity with you in heaven.

He comes to us in such a humble way—under the appearance of bread and wine—so that we can receive him into our bodies. Even the sickest, most feeble person can eat this simple bread which contains the Savior of the World. Though he is the Creator of all things—though more glorious than anything in creation—he is pleased to conceal himself and be known only to the eyes of those with faith. Why is that? Because he wants us to come to him and receive him without fear.

If he did show himself in all his glory and power, we might be too afraid to draw near to him. We might run away and hide. Actually, every one of us would probably drop to our knees with our faces to the ground. But by giving himself to us in such a simple way, we can welcome him into our bodies and souls.

Don’t be indifferent as to how you receive. Don’t take the Host from the minister’s hands; after all, it is a gift, and gifts are never taken, but received, placed in our hands. Permit that sacred moment of the greatest treasure known to humanity to be placed upon the flesh of your open palm or upon the surface of your tongue. And treat every reception like the first time—but imagine it to be your last.

Fall in love with Jesus in the Sacrament of his Body and Blood. Fall in love in an absolute and final way. Let him seize your imagination. Let the Risen Lord whom we receive in Holy Communion be the reason you wake up in the morning. Let your love for him guide how you will spend your evenings and weekends. Fall in love with Jesus who gives himself to us in the Eucharist.

Stay in love with him, and it will decide everything for you!


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