The Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ (Corpus Christi), Year B, 6th June 2021

‘Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood will live in me and I in him’

On this feast of Corpus Christi we give thanks for who we are, and all that God has done for us. Today’s readings show how God’s plan moves towards a new covenant of love through Christ.

In the First Reading we see Moses mediate between God and the people, instructing them about God’s rules and commands. For the Israelites, blood is the symbol of life, and Moses sprinkles blood from sacrificed bulls on both the altar and the people to signify their desire to enter into a covenant with God.

St Paul (Second Reading) explains that Jesus himself has now become the mediator of a new covenant. Jesus is both the priest offering the sacrifice and the victim being offered; his own blood replacing that of animals. In doing this, Jesus brings ‘the perfect sacrifice to God through the eternal Spirit’, which takes away our sins.

In the Gospel account of the Last Supper, Jesus shares a meal with his dearest friends, giving himself in the bread and wine, a gift of love and friendship. On the following day, Good Friday, Jesus will freely give his own life, a sacrifice made out of his great love for the world. Here begins a new relationship between God and his people.

Today’s Psalm is one of thanksgiving and praise to the Lord for his goodness and gift. The psalmist asks, ‘How can I repay the Lord?’

As we celebrate the Eucharist today, let us offer to God a promise of undivided love, and an offering of ourselves to the service of others.