Do This in Memory of Me

Jun 6, 2018

Gospel Reflection, The Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ, Year B
Exodus 24:3-8; Hebrews 9:11-15; Mark 14:12-6, 22-26

Do This in Memory of Me

An old saying is that, “Whose bread I eat, his tune I sing.”  This expresses a view of life that is based on sobering and sometimes bitter experience.  I have to try to please whoever is “providing my bread”.  If I am dependent on someone, I have to give way to him, try to get along with him, and “sing his tune”.

But today, on the feast of Corpus Christi, we could interpret this saying in a positive sense.  In many places there is joyful and colorful celebration with Corpus Christi celebrations.  We are signing the song of him whose bread we eat in the Holy Eucharist.  When we have a procession, we go out into the streets with music and a colorful canopy and underneath, the priest carries the monstrance with the Blessed Sacrament.  There is some folklore to it, but also a profound and genuine devotion expressed.

Everything began with a special supper, which our Jewish brothers and sisters celebrate up to this day: the feast of Passover, which commemorates God rescuing the Israelites from slavery out of Egypt.  Jesus, too, was celebrating the Passover meal with his disciples in a specially prepared room that the owner had willingly made available to them.

The meal ran its usual course, but then something astonishing happened.  Jesus broke the bread and said, “Take; this is my body.” And then he took a cup of wine and instead of the formula of blessing provided for, said, “This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many.”  This was a moment never to be forgotten.  It was his last supper with them, and then came his arrest, the Cross, the grave, and his Resurrection.

Jesus had said to them, “Do this in remembrance of me.”  And from those very first days, his disciples did it.  Again and again, especially on Sunday, the weekly “little Passover”, they came together and we still do to do what Jesus did on that unforgettable night: “This is my body which is given for you, for all men.”

Since then the Church has lived on this bread, which is he himself, who never ceases to give his life to us all.  Anyone who can accept this in his or her heart – the need to be dependent on him and to receive his very life -- will feel the need to celebrate it on Sunday and otherwise and to sing for him whose bread he or she eats.

 Father Tony