Reflection by Deacon Tony Aspinall 

First reading: Exodus 24:3-8. 
Second Reading: Heb 9:11-15.
Gospel: Mk 14:12-16, 22-26





The celebration of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ (Corpus Christi) ranks as a Solemnity in the Churches calendar.  Of course we celebrate this by coming together to offer the mass.

The Mass or Eucharist is one of our most familiar Christian activities and yet it is often greatly misunderstood and there are many who do not appreciate the richness of the Mass.  I remember the days when we were only required to ”hear Mass”.  Not an enriching experience.

A common expression today is that Mass is boring, or I don’t get anything out of it.  It is great to be able to celebrate joyfully with good music and song, good readers and engaging celebrants but ultimately it is up to us to enter the liturgy positively and bring our gifts for the good of all.

The readings for Corpus Christi have the word “Covenant” in all three readings.  God makes a covenant that He will be God of the Hebrews and they will be His people.

Then in Paul’s letter to the Hebrews he teaches us that it is no longer necessary for the blood of animals to flow in sacrifice.  Jesus mediated a new covenant where by the sacrifice of himself, His blood became the sign of the new covenant.  The blood of the Lamb of God was poured out once and for all for the forgiveness of sins.

The old covenant was for one people, the children of Abraham (the Jews) .  The new covenant in Jesus’ blood embraces the whole human race.  Because of the new covenant the Eucharist is primarily a time of thanksgiving.  This only becomes a reality for us if we approach the Eucharist in a spirit of thanks rather than obligation. We give thanks for the gift of the Eucharist in which Jesus gathers us as His people to enrich, enliven and bless us.

The mass also gives us ample opportunities for reconciliation.  We all approach Eucharist as sinners, and as brothers and sisters in Christ we confess our sins as we forgive those who have offended us.  We are reminded in Matt 5:23-24 that when you offer your gift at the altar, if your brother or sister has something against you, leave your gift in front of the altar and be reconciled with your brother and sister and then bring your gift.

The Eucharist spotlights our relationship with God as creator and created, Father and child.  We come together as equals in the sight of God as we proclaim “Lord I am not worthy that you should enter under my roof, but only say the word and my soul shall be healed”.

It is only after this prayer of faith and humility that we receive the body and blood of Christ.  So let us rejoice as we celebrate the Solemnity of Corpus Christi that the Eucharist is not for the perfect but for sinners who are called to the feast by the love of God.