Homily for the 20th sunday in ordinary time year b.
THEME : WHOEVER EATS THIS BREAD WILL LIVE FOREVER
Beloved in Christ, today as we gather to worship the Church invites us to continue our reflection on the effect of this bread from heaven on us.
Therefore I have chosen ” WHOEVER EATS THIS BREAD WILL LIVE FOREVER ” as our theme for today.
This theme is to help us understand that the ‘Holy Communion augments our union with Christ; for the principal fruit of receiving the Eucharist in Holy Communion is an intimate union with Christ Jesus…life in Christ has its foundation in the Eucharistic banquet ‘(CCC 1391).
Beloved in Christ, Jesus himself affirmed this in John 6:57; when he said ‘as the living Father sent me and I live because of the Father,so he who eats me will live because of me. And this ,Justin Martyr (150 A.D.)puts it clearly as the food which has been made into the Eucharist by the Eucharistic prayer set down by him…is both the flesh and the blood of that incarnated Jesus.
Thus, because Jesus has been raised and we are ‘in Jesus’ we too shall be raised because of him.
And Theodore of Mopsuestia (c4th) categorically states that when Christ gave the bread he did not say,This is the symbol of my body but This is my body. In this same way with the cup, he did not say this is the symbol of my blood but this is my blood.
While St. Augustine (c 5th ) says that what you see is the bread and the chalice, that is what your eyes report to you. But what your faith obliges you accept is the body of Christ and the chalice is blood of Jesus Christ.
Beloved, it is this understanding that started the quarrel among the Jews,for they wondered ‘how can this man give us his flesh to eat?’
Beloved, in faith we affirm that the bread and wine are changed” substantially ” and not just “symbolically “into the true, real and life – giving flesh and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ.
My dear friend, when it comes to the Eucharist the saying ‘what you see is what you get ‘ does not apply; for though what we see is bread and wine, what is given to us does not look like but is the actual body and blood of Christ.
Let us therefore pray for the grace not to take this meal for granted, for it is this meal that will lead us to eternal life.