My brothers and sisters in Christ,
As I was saying, today we celebrate the Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ. And we are taking part in a historic celebration.
The whole world is united with our Holy Father, Pope Francis in a special time of adoration to Jesus in the Eucharist. As we speak, in Rome our Holy Father is leading a holy hour of Eucharistic adoration in the Vatican. And everywhere Catholics are praying with the Pope before the Most Holy Eucharist.
And after this Mass we are going to have a Eucharistic procession and then we are going to have the exposition of the Blessed Sacrament in our Blessed Sacrament Chapel.
So as we are united with the Holy Father, let us try to be especially united with his intentions today. His special intentions today are that the Church might grow in holiness as God’s messenger of mercy. That the Church may be a force for justice and healing and assistance for those in need — especially the poor, the unemployed, the immigrant, and victims of war and human trafficking. So let’s keep those intentions in mind as we especially celebrate this liturgy.
And of course we are reflecting on the beautiful gift of the miracle of the presence of Our Lord — the real presence of Our Lord Jesus Christ — in the Eucharist.
And our readings today show us that the Eucharist is part of the mystery of God’s plan of salvation.
As we heard in the first reading, centuries and centuries before the coming of Christ, the Eucharist was prefigured in the ancient offering of Melchizedek — who brought out bread and wine to worship the Creator of heaven and earth.
And then Jesus, in the Gospel we have just heard, multiplied loaves and fishes. This was another sign of the Eucharist.
I’m sure that you noticed, that in the miracle of the loaves and fishes, Jesus follows the same pattern as the institution of the Eucharist. Jesus took the bread, said a blessing, broke it and gave it to the people.
Exactly what he did at the Last Supper, as St. Paul tells in the second reading of today’s Mass. As he said:
The Lord Jesus … took bread
and, after he had given thanks,
broke it and said, “This is my body …”
My dear brothers and sisters, the Eucharist reveals God’s great plan of love for the world. God wants to feed us, he wants to live in each one of us. He wants to give us his Body and Blood to be our food.
He knows that our world is hungry. That people are hungry for love, for communion, for community. They are hungry for God. And that’s why He gives us the Eucharist.
Jesus loves us so much that he wants to be our daily bread. And we are called to live from this daily bread, and be nourished by the love of God.
So this beautiful feast is a reminder to all of us that our Christian life and our apostolic mission depends on a deep personal encounter with the Our Lord Jesus Christ — the risen Lord in the Eucharist.
The Eucharist is a mystery to be lived. And we are called to be Eucharistic people. We are called to live from the graces we receive in the Eucharist and to make our lives something beautiful that we offer to God.
We receive the Eucharist — the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ — and then we are called to bring the love of God to the people around us.
So Jesus fed the crowd in the Gospel today. In the same way, we have to go out into the world and feed the hungry and help those who are hurting. We have to share with others the love of God and his mercy. So it’s not just something selfish that we are doing, thinking about ourselves. But it’s something that feeds us, nourishes us, and then we are taking it out to the people that we live with.
So on this special day of prayer and adoration, let us renew our faith and love for the Eucharist, for the real presence of our Lord Jesus Christ in the Eucharist. Let us make sure that we are always well prepared to receive Jesus in Holy Communion.
And let us ask Mary our Blessed Mother, to help us to grow in love and really live the mysteries of our Catholic faith in our daily life. Let’s ask her to instill in us a “hunger” of receiving Jesus in the Eucharist and bringing him to the people of our time.