These verses contain the climax of Jesus’ ‘Bread of Life’ discourse, which announced a bold promise of eternal life for all who believe in him and partake of his presence in the Eucharist. In unmistakable language, Jesus identifies himself with the elements of our Eucharistic Sacrifice, namely, the Bread and Wine. We feed on Jesus by believing or ‘taking in’ his Word and acting on it, and by believing in and ‘taking in’ his divine presence in the bread and wine. Just as we and the substances we eat and drink become one, so Jesus and those who feed on him form an intimate union.
This Gospel also implies that Jesus not merely visits those who feed on him, but he dwells there permanently. Today we celebrate that great feast of Corpus Christi, the Body and Blood of Christ. A feast that reflect back to earlier times of incense, bells, processions and canopies of the Church Militant and the Church Triumphant. One of the Feasts that perhaps best enumerates the ethos of being Catholic. We are so very defined by our belief in the Eucharist, we are a Eucharist centered people, remember the Council tells us that the Eucharist is the ‘fount and apex, or the source and summit’. It is where we are from and what we are heading towards. What better way to talk about the Eucharist than source and summit, as fount and apex. The Eucharist is our source, our fount. We are born from the very side of Christ on the Cross. As blood and water flowed from his side we to flow from his side. We are strengthened by his very flesh and blood. We are enlivened by Christ himself. When we testify that Jesus is ‘Body, Blood, Soul and divine; this phrase does not tell us what is present but tells us who is present. Jesus Christ flesh and blood created in his humanity, his flesh; breathed into and given life by the Father, is God made man. Jesus in the Eucharist is completely human in His Soul and completely God in his Divinity. Jesus Christ is fully and truly present in the Eucharist.
The Eucharist is a celebration of the love of Jesus for us, his blood shed for us in love and his body scourged, crowned with thorns and crucified for us. The wine poured and the bread broken is the love of Jesus for us, body and blood given for us. Because the Eucharist is the love of Jesus for us we always approach Jesus in the Eucharist with great respect and asking pardon for our sins. That is why it is so necessary at the start of every Mass to ask Jesus for mercy because we are so unworthy of his love, and again before receiving Jesus we express our unworthiness, ‘Lord I am not worthy to receive you but only say the word and I shall be healed’. Think of how precious a moment in our Mass it is when we receive Jesus in Holy Communion. When we receive Jesus, Jesus is in us and we are with Jesus. It is like what Genesis says about the marriage of man and woman; no longer two but one cf. Genesis 2:24. It is the same when we receive Jesus. We are no longer two but one “he who eats my flesh abides in me and I in him” John 6:57.
To help us believe, from time to time, God has allowed visible miracles of the Eucharist to occur, Eucharistic Miracles as we call them. These are miracles that occurred during Mass when the bread changed into the form of flesh during the consecration and the wine changed into the form of blood during the consecration. Many such Eucharistic Miracles have occurred in various parts of the world and throughout the two millennia of Christian history and have been authenticated by the Church. In the year 1263 a priest from Prague was on route to Rome making a pilgrimage asking God for help to strengthen his faith since he was having doubts about his vocation. Along the way he stopped in Bolsena 70 miles north of Rome. While celebrating Mass there, as he raised the host during the consecration, the bread turned into flesh and began to bleed. The drops of blood fell onto the small white cloth on the altar, called the corporal.
The following year, 1264, Pope Urban IV instituted the feast of the Body and Blood of Jesus, today’s feast, Corpus Christi. The Pope asked St Thomas Aquinas, living at that time, to write hymns for the feast and he wrote two, better known to the older members of our congregation, the Tantum Ergo and O Salutaris. That blood-stained corporal may still be seen in the Basilica of Orvieto north of Rome, and I had the privilege of seeing it personally. The blood has congealed and is now in five clots in the glass chalice. In 1971 and 1981 a hospital laboratory tested the flesh and blood and discovered that the flesh is myocardium, which is heart muscular tissue; so we could say it is the heart of Jesus, the Sacred Heart, and the blood is of the blood group AB.
In 1978 NASA scientists tested the blood on the Turin Shroud and interestingly also discovered that it is of the blood group AB. (The Sudarium, Face Cloth of Christ, in John 20:6 is also of the blood group AB.) Despite the fact that human flesh and blood should not have remained preserved for 1300 years the hospital lab tests found no trace of any preservatives.
One final interesting point about the five blood clots in the chalice is that when you weigh one of them, it is the same weight as all five together; two of them together weigh the same as all five. In fact no matter what way you combine the blood clots individually or in a group to weigh them, they always weigh the same. (This shows that the full Jesus is present in a particle of the Eucharist no matter how small). These are two Eucharistic miracles I have seen and which have been authenticated by the Church after investigation. In spiritual books you will read of many more Eucharistic miracles throughout the world which have been authenticated by the Church. All of these authenticated Eucharistic miracles throughout the world are surely an answer to any doubts we may have about Jesus in the Eucharist. Jesus is really with us in the Eucharist. Jesus comes to us in every Mass under the form of bread and wine.
What we need today is the right attitude to help us in our weak faith, from time to time; God has given us Eucharistic Miracles so that we may believe in the Real Presence of Jesus in the Eucharist. Come to Jesus, not like a scientist trying to analyze, but come in trust, surrender, believe and receive his love. Say to Jesus that you believe he is really present in the Blessed Sacrament and gradually grow from merely believing, to loving Jesus, and being loved by Jesus. Come to visit Jesus in the Tabernacle here in Church often where you will have a wonderful opportunity to trust, surrender, believe and receive the love of Jesus. Because our Archdiocese loves Jesus in the Eucharist so much we have Perpetual Eucharistic Adoration in several Parishes in our Archdiocese among the Holy Family Minor Basilica. Every hour of every day and night, our Archdiocese is trusting, surrendering, believing and receiving the love of Jesus in the Eucharist. It is your turn to trust, surrender, believe in and receive the love of Jesus for you in the Eucharist.
As a symbol of our love for Jesus we will carry him in procession tonight. It is also a symbol of Jesus’ love for us. We cannot carry Jesus through every street or road in our parishes but nevertheless we know that Jesus is with us and loves us, his blood is poured out for us and his body broken for us. As Jesus passes you in the Blessed Sacrament adore him and thank him for all He has done for us unworthy sinners. Also as Jesus passes you in the Blessed Sacrament ask him for whatever healing you need. Try to put words on the deepest healing of your life that you need and ask Jesus to heal you. At every Mass this healing always occurs when people ask with true faith. Jesus in the monstrance will pass you by today. Adore him, love him and ask him for help. He is waiting for you. Remember the words of the consecration of every Mass recalling Jesus giving himself for us “This is my Body which will be given up for you....This is the cup of my blood. It will be shed for you...” Roman Canon Eucharistic prayer. May Jesus in the Eucharist always be the very center and heart of our Church, of our faith, of our Parishes, of our families and the center and heart of the lives of each of us.
Today we are exhorted to feed on the word of God which has already become flesh and is living among us. Therefore, participation in the Eucharist implies a commitment to living a Christ-centered life. It is our duty not to entertain obstacles that may prevent us from fulfilling this moment of grace. Let us make it a point that our understanding and believing in the Holy Eucharist improves our participation in the liturgy thus transforming our lives to be like the one we are celebrating. Lord Jesus Christ, we worship you living among us in the Sacrament of your Body and Blood, assist us to offer to our Father in heaven a solemn pledge of undivided love and to our brothers and sisters share a life that witnesses your undivided love.

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