Solemnity Of The Body and Blood Of Christ

bermaThis Sunday’s feast is a “repeat” of what we celebrated just a few weeks ago on Holy Thursday. Jesus does something entirely new and unimaginably significant: he gives himself—his very Body and Blood—to us as our heavenly Food. This is the mystery we celebrate on Holy Thursday and this Sunday. This gospel, however, gives us a different context and some different details that move us deeper into the mystery.
The room where Jesus would celebrate the Passover with his disciples is described as a “guest room.” Guest rooms are not where we are at home—they are transition rooms, temporary quarters, gifts of another’s generosity. We are always “guests” in God’s accommodations. We are to stay only temporarily, to move on from one place to another, from one person to another to witness to God’s mighty deeds of salvation. God’s gifts to us are not so we can settle in, stay put, become inert. God’s gifts always impel us to move on, to spread the Good News, to “pass over” into someone new!
Each celebration of the Eucharist is a passover for us. It celebrates our plunging ever more deeply into the paschal mystery, into Jesus’ passing from death to risen Life. It celebrates our embrace of the new identity baptism first bestows on us and Eucharist celebrates and nourishes: that we ourselves are members of the Body of Christ. As Jesus continually gives himself to us in the mystery of his Body and Blood, so does Eucharist call us to the same self-giving.
Every eucharistic celebration challenges us to “pass over” more deeply from being hearers of the word to doers of the word, from rugged individuals to the community of the church, from self-centered to self-giving persons. To eat the Body and drink the Blood of the risen Christ is to surrender ourselves to these and other “pass overs.” This, because the Eucharist transforms us into the very One we eat and drink. We pass over from one way of being to Another.