Outdoor Mass

True Food, True Drink (((HOMILY))): Corpus Christi

by Father Brian J. Soliven on Sunday June 14, 2020

We share many things in common with our Protestant brothers and sisters. In fact, on key fundamentals of the Christian faith, what unites us far outweighs what divides us. Yet at the same time, striking divergent points of contention cannot be swept under the rug. The great Solemnity of Corpus Christi (The Body of Christ) that the Church celebrates this Sunday is one such stumbling block. We maintain the ancient position that what Jesus gave us at the Last Supper and subsequently commanded us to repeat until he comes again, is truly his Real Presence hidden behind the appearance of bread and wine. It is not merely symbolic; it is radically so much more.  We see him clearly teaching this baffling doctrine in our Gospel reading: "Amen, amen, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you do not have life within you.... For my flesh is true food, and my blood is true drink. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me and I in him." (cf. John 6:51-58). For the first 1500 years, all Christians believed this. Only until the Reformation of the 16th Century do we begin to see this belief challenged. "What's the big deal anyway?" An outside observe may ask if they see a Protestant pastor and a Catholic priest arguing about this teaching. Simply put, its a big deal because the Eucharist, the bread and wine that is consecrated on the altar every single Sunday is not just a "something" but rather, a "someone."