“The cup of salvation I will take up”
Mark 14:12-16, 22-26
by Sister Joseph Fennimore, OSB
Over the past months of Covid-19, the pandemic, I have heard remarks such as, “I miss going to Mass.” or “I wish I could go to Mass and receive Holy Communion.” Lately it has been, “I have not been to Mass in a year. It is so nice to be able to go to Mass again.” One could hear the longing in peoples’ voices as they expressed their feelings about being deprived of the Eucharist. When they were able to take part in Mass and Holy Communion deep gratitude was audible and visible. They had truly longed for the Body and Blood of Christ.
Today’s celebration of the Body and Blood of Christ is the answer to what we have been missing. What we celebrate is the nourishment of God’s love in the Body and Blood of his Son, Jesus Christ. We are celebrating Jesus’ enduring presence among us and his coming to us in Holy Communion, our chief way of sharing Jesus’ divine life.
The gift of the Body and Blood of Christ was given to us at the Last Supper. St. Mark tells us this in today’s Gospel reading. We are to eat and drink of Jesus’ Body and Blood to receive strength and nourishment for our work in this world and to sustain us on our journey to eternal life.
This wondrous gift was foreshadowed in the covenant God made through Moses with the Israelites at Mt. Sinai. The blood that Moses sprinkled on the people was a symbol of Christ’s blood that would be given and shed for us, blood that would become our food and redemption.
Through this great feast of the Body and Blood of Christ we are celebrating one of the most important gifts of our Catholic faith and life. With it we are being redeemed, purified, sanctified, sustained, nourished and called to unity. May we be everlastingly grateful for this GIFT.
From the Rule of St. Benedict
“See how the Lord in his love shows us the way of life.” Prologue, Vs. 20
“I am the living bread that came down from heaven, says the Lord; whoever eats this bread will live forever.” John 6:51