Sunday, June 07, 2015


Sermon preached at Our Lady of Walsingham and St Francis on the Sunday in the Octave of Corpus Christi


It’s fascinating the difference one little word can make and “indeed” is a vitally important word. It’s a vitally important word indeed!

Let’s look at how we use it. If we are asked the question, “Are you going to Disney World?” we could answer with “yes”, or “yes, I am”, or “Indeed, I am.” Notice the difference in those responses. Which seems to be the strongest to you?


For many of us, to say “indeed, I am” seems to be the strongest way of saying yes without jumping up and down and nodding more fiercely than a nodding dog with St Vitus’ dance. It means something is a fact, a reality, almost a foregone conclusion. “Indeed” is the word used to translate Latin and Greek words meaning “in truth” – again a strong indication of fact. If this little word is so strong in its meaning, then how much stronger must it be if the King of the Universe uses it?


“Jesus said unto the multitude of the Jews: My Flesh is meat indeed, and my Blood is drink indeed. He that eateth my Flesh, and drinketh my Blood, dwelleth in me, and I in him.”

So the Lord tells us that we are to consume His Flesh and drink His Blood. This scandalises the Jews and even His own disciples, many of whom leave Him. It’s a big deal to say this. In using the word “indeed”, Our Lord is making His point very clear.

Furthermore, He tells us clearly at the last supper, “this is my body” and “this is my blood”. He doesn’t use the word “indeed” here. Why not? Because His disciples have heard Him say that His Flesh is meat indeed, that His Blood is drink indeed. What Our Lord says, He means.


This is why the Catholic Faith holds very strongly to the fact that when we do as the Lord commands, the Host becomes His Flesh, the Wine becomes His Blood. Why then don’t we see it change?

The answer really lies in the fact that, as human beings, we are formed of soul and body. That’s why our sacraments have an outward sign, something we can experience with our bodies, and an inward grace, something that we can only experience with our souls. Angels don’t need sacraments nor do animals. They are there to bring fallen men and women back to God. For our sake, Christ becomes really present to us in His flesh, blood and divinity at the Mass but we may not see Him with our physical senses, but rather with the eyes of faith.


It may be hard for us to see this at times, and our faith may wobble because we cannot experience what is going on physically.

We trust that He is there because He tells us that He is there so that we can become more like Him by taking Him into ourselves.

If we really are what we eat, what does that mean for the faithful Catholic?

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