Reflection: Corpus Christi

Chinese Mass:Every Sunday 2:15 p.m.

Our Lady of the Assumption RC Church, Assumption Priory, Victoria Park Square, Bethnal Green E2 9PB (map)

After Mass you are welcome to join the community for a tea gathering

Bible study/sharing every Saturday (2:00-4:00 p.m.) at Notre Dame De France Church, 5 Leicester Place WC2H 7BX (near See Woo Chinese Supermarket, Leicester Square tube station)

Talk and discussion meeting First Monday of every month (4:00-6:00 p.m.) at Notre Dame De France Church

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[1st Reading – Ex.24:3-8; Ps.115; 2nd Reading – Heb.9:11-15; Gospel – Mk.14:12-16,22-26]

“THE BLOOD OF THE COVENANT”

It is not by chance that Jesus makes use of bread and wine. Bread and wine were found on every table. They were the common and essential ingredients of every meal. And Jesus took these two elements to talk about himself, about us and about his permanent presence with us. The bread and wine are a symbol of Jesus’ body and blood. At the same time they cease to be a symbol and become the true body and blood of Jesus through the words of the priest as commanded by Jesus Himself – a mystery of our faith that can only be “understood” as long and as much as we create a relationship with Jesus in this same Sacrament.

The Bread is made of flour: tiny particles from wheat – different grains – that through the work of human hands, become bread. Once the flower is mixed, it is impossible to separate one grain from the other. All become one, and a new thing, made of many small particles.  This, the bread, represents the communion of the faithful in and with Christ. The purpose of ordinary bread is to be eaten to sustain the body. Consecrated bread (the body of Christ) cannot be eaten by one person, and merely to sustain the body, but has to be divided and shared by those who believe. In such a way the faithful become one not only with their fellow believers, but also one with Christ. Isn’t this what Christ did when He gave his life to sustain us? Wasn’t He the one who said that ‘If the wheat will not die we would not have life in us’? The Wine is made of different grapes. Many grapes together, through the work of human hands, become wine. Again, it is impossible to separate what comes out of one grape from another. Once mixed together, they remain one, and become a new thing, wine. Wine is a symbol of the blood of Christ and at the same time also a symbol of the communion of the faithful of Christ. Wasn’t this what Christ did when he ended up drained from his blood through his Passion? Wasn’t it the blood (of animals!) that used to be offered to God…?

In fact, Jesus refers to the blood of the cup as “the blood of the covenant”. In the Old Testament it was through the blood of sacrifices that the people of Israel kept their covenant with God. In the New Testament, it is through Jesus’ blood that God has completed a New Covenant with his people – the Church. And this sacrifice was done not only for the Church but “for many”. But it is only those who accept to share this blood (Sacrifice of Christ) that enter into this New Covenant with God. And it is with them in the Kingdom of heaven that Jesus will drink again this wine, when He will be in the company of those who accepted Him and decided to share in this cup and covenant.

Lord, You are the bread of life. Give us this bread so that we can have life and live with You, through Your covenant sharing Your company with the Father and the Holy Spirit. Thank You Lord!”

Fr. Jesmond Pawley, OFM Conv.

(Permission to reproduce on this site by Fr. Jesmond, St. Patrick’s RC Church, Waterloo http://www.stpatrickwaterloo.org.uk/ )

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