Sunday, June 18, 2017

Really real? Really?

Sermon for the Sunday in the Octave of Corpus Christi

In this day and age, we have to have everything verified by Science. The activity of praying has been found by Science to be beneficial to one's mental well-being, so the secular society has invented Mindfulness which is essentially a form of meditation without God.

Given this scientific mentality at the back of your mind, do you think it is easy to see why people doubt that Our Lord Jesus Christ is truly present under the form of bread and wine at Mass?

We hear Our Lord say, "I am the bread of Life," and from this we believe that Our Lord is as present in the Mass as we are, only more so, and that we do eat of His flesh and drink of His blood. Yet, Our Lord says, "I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life" and, "I am the door," and "I am the vine." If Our Lord is speaking literally when He says "I am the bread of life," mustn't He also be speaking literally when He says, "I am the vine"? But Jesus isn't literally a vine - He's human and divine. Surely He must be speaking as an analogy here, not literally. If He's only the vine by analogy and not literally, why should we not think the same when He says that He is the bread of life? Perhaps Jesus only meant the bread and wine to stand symbolically for His body and blood. Perhaps He isn't really here! Why are we staring at that circle of unleavened bread so intently?


It looks like we have a lot of explaining to do. Why aren't things as they seem? How can we honestly believe in Our Lord's substantial presence when all the evidence points to the contrary?

Jesus says that He is the vine and we are the branches. He is clearly saying something deeper than our knowledge will allow. Yet, we understand Him that our life with Him comes from being united with Him in a way that is deeper than our understanding will allow. We not only find our Creation from God, but we gain our very selves from God. If He is the vine and we draw our lives from Him, how do we do that? He must be giving of Himself to us to sustain us - that's what vines do for branches.

Not only this, but Jesus does use this little word indeed. Every time Jesus uses this word indeed which literally means "in truth", He is talking about a fact. Look up every time Jesus says, "indeed," and you will see that He is talking about truth. And then He says, "My flesh is meat indeed, and My blood is drink indeed." This is true. It's what He says, and this word "indeed" shows that He really means it.

But why bread? Why wine?

In several places in the Bible, God presents eating the flesh of human beings as a curse. Cannibalism is savagery and close to the behaviour of wild animals. Jesus wants to protect us from that curse lest people are scandalised. People leave Jesus when He says that His flesh is meat indeed, and His blood is drink indeed. They know such language to be horrible: cannibalism is a curse. Yet, Peter and the other disciples stay with Him trusting in His word, that He will never be a curse to them. And He isn't!

This is why He gives us Himself in the form of bread and wine, so that we are not accused of falling under the curse of eating human flesh and blood. We are eating the Body and Blood of Christ which stands beyond our physical understanding. We draw from Christ the very substance of His being so that we might be nourished as the branches of a vine. He does not diminish when we consume Him but He grows, just like the bread at the feeding of the four thousand and five thousand. There is more than enough of Him for ever single human being who is, was or will be, in all of existence.


When next you gaze upon the host, you will see a wafer and that's as it should be. You are seeing the Bread of Heaven, But the Bread of Heaven is Our Lord Jesus Christ. There gaze upon this little white disc and know that you are seeing not only the fulfilment of a promise, but of the Truth that Our Lord Jesus Christ wants to feed you with His very self so that you can become like Him. Don't try to discern His flesh with your eyes, do so with your soul, and pray that God will open the eyes of your soul to behold Him face to face.

He is very willing to let you see Him. He is very willing for you to become like Him.

Are you willing? Are you willing, indeed?

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