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Feast of Corpus Christi – Two-Minute Homily: Bishop Ken Howell

Feast of Corpus Christi – Two-Minute Homily: Bishop Ken Howell


Today, we gather with the Church to celebrate
the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ, or as we often call it: the Feast of Corpus Christi. It is beyond doubt that the Eucharist abounds
with layers of rich meaning, and this year the Readings focus on the aspect of the life
giving sacrifice of Christ on the cross. Today’s Gospel has Christ on the way to
the cross, but before his life’s blood is drained from his body, he gathers his most
intimate friends to inaugurate a whole new way of understanding self-offering and death
against the backdrop of the institution of the Eucharist. This is no garden party or flimsy ritual. It has all the power of issues that affect
life and death. This is about the mission of love and sacrifice, the anxiety of an uncertain future and strained relationships. It has this most natural need to be with and
to have a final supper with those closest at this turning point moment. Friends, we keep coming back to the Eucharist
as we live out the various and sometimes complex realities of our lives. The Eucharist is celebrated by real people
in the midst of everything that makes up our human existence. We come to the table and bring our new love
or old hatred, our recent success or distressing failure, our job loss or promotion,
our engagement or divorce, our troublesome or well-behaved children,
our persistent doubts and barely believable hopes. Like Jesus, we bring our present life and
pending death as our best offering to the Father. All of this is happening in every
Eucharistic moment. And it happens so that we can tap into the
very life of God and experience the life-giving and changing presence of our Saviour. No wonder, the Eucharist is often described
as an awesome mystery. The layers and layers of rich meaning are
indeed a precious gift to us, but more so, we realise that to participate
in the Eucharist, we are receiving that which seals our lives,
unites, nourishes, sustains, and makes us become what we receive:
Christ’s body and blood.

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