Blood is a part of a body, and yet blood and body are well connected. They depend on each other for survival. Blood provides food for the body, and the body renews, and makes new blood. A body without blood is a deathly cold body, and blood without a body is lifeless. Blood outside of a body, or a body without blood is the absence of life.
Today's first reading recalls the story of the pilgrim people. God showed them God's power and mercy. When the pilgrims were wandering in the desert, they were hungry and thirsty. God provided food to keep them alive. People believed, that showing respect to God was not an option, but rather it was an obligation. They showed their gratitude to God by way of faith. Jesus Himself made miracles to feed those who had spent all day long listening to His teaching. These miracles hinted at the establishment of the permanent presence of God in the Holy Eucharist.
The Feast of the Body, and Blood of Christ, is the celebration of life- giving, which Jesus gave to His friends. Its official name is the Eucharist, but commonly known as Mass. Before removing Jesus' body from the cross, a soldier pierced His body, there were a few drops of blood drifting. It confirmed to the soldier, Jesus actually had died. On the cross, Jesus emptied His life to give us the fullness of life. The Holy Eucharist is Jesus' self- sacrificial act of love for His friends. It is the summit of a Christian life. We commemorate Jesus' Last Supper before His Passion. This celebration is not simply a memorial of Jesus' suffering, death, and resurrection. Jesus Himself, in a mysterious way, is truly present at the Holy Eucharist, changing the ordinary bread and wine to become His real Body and Blood. The command to 'Eat Jesus' Body and drink His Blood' is harsh to hear. Indeed, truth always has a bitter taste.
Coming to the Holy Eucharist, we come into God's presence. Coming to the Holy Eucharist, we come before the Most Holy. Receiving the Body and Blood of Jesus, we receive Jesus' life and love. Coming to the Holy Eucharist, we receive salvation and peace. Coming to the Holy Eucharist, we come to Jesus' act of self- sacrificial love. Coming to the Holy Eucharist, we come to God's new covenant, Jesus had established with His own Body and Blood. Jesus' Blood becomes 'the new wine' in God's kingdom (Mark 14:25).
Blood brings oxygen, and nutrients to feed a body. The Holy Eucharist, the Body and Blood of Jesus, brings us new life, that energizes our spiritual life. Blood removes waste materials to keep a body healthy. Jesus not only removed or erased our sins, He actually took our sins on His own shoulders as if they were His own, and carried them for us. Jesus offered us the Holy Eucharist as food for our soul, to strengthen our inner life, to fight against vices, and avoid temptations. The Holy Eucharist satisfies our spiritual needs, and brings us lasting salvation, and eternal peace.
We need to come to the Eucharist with an act of faith. It is shown through utmost personal preparations, care, respect, and reverence. It is no matter how much we have prepared ourselves, we are unworthy to come to the Holy Eucharist. We come to the Holy Eucharist because the Lord asked us to come. We are encouraged to come to the Holy Eucharist. Receiving the Holy Eucharist without utmost preparation is an act of disgrace, abuse of God's everlasting love and mercy.