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Homily On Corpus Christi Sunday (Teaching On The Kenosis Of Jesus Christ), Year A


Homily On Corpus Christi Sunday (Teaching On The Kenosis Of Jesus Christ), Year A



According to the Encyclopedia of Catholicism, the word Eucharist comes from the Greek word which means, “Thanksgiving”.

Corpus Christi is the sacramental celebration of the paschal mystery (passion, death and resurrection) of Jesus Christ. The Eucharist is the active action of Christ. He took bread and wine and transformed them into his body and blood through his words and actions.

The institution of the Eucharist can be traced back in the Scripture. In Matthew 26:26-29, “While they were at supper, Jesus took bread and wine and transformed them into his own body and blood”. Mark 14:22-25, Luke 22:15-20 and 1Cor 11:23-26, all recorded the account of the institution of the last death.

The doctrinal content of the Eucharist is the “REAL PRESENCE” of Christ in the Blessed Sacrament. The phrase, “This is my body and blood” expresses the kenosis of Christ, that is, his self-giving and self-emptying as a sacrificial victim.

According to the Catechism of the Catholic Church No.1324, it says, “The Eucharist is the source and summit of our Christian life”. It is the sum and summary of our faith. It is the quantin quantum of our existence. It is the kpim and center of our worship.

A deep Union with Christ in the Eucharist has an efficacious effect in our life. Devotion to the Eucharist makes us intimate disciples of Christ and introduces us into building an intimate Union with the Blessed Virgin Mary. It’s the antidote to death. “He who eat my body and drink my blood will have eternal life”. (John 6:54).

The Eucharist is the center of our Catholic liturgy. It’s the mystery within mysteries. The Eucharist is the highest form of prayer. It’s the bread of life, a sacred meal, a memorial, a sacrifice and a sacrament.

According to padre Pio, “The world cannot exist without the Eucharist”. A research revealed that in every 4 minutes in the world, the sacrifice of the Mass is being offered somewhere.
St. Thomas Aquinas would say, “The Eucharist preserves the soul in the life of grace”.
St. Francis de Sales has this to say, “Through the Eucharist, Christ penetrates the soul”.

According to the council of Trent (1545-1563), “Christ is presence in a unique way, whole and entire in the Eucharist”.
The church teaches that the Eucharist is a true body and blood of Christ who under the species of bread and wine, through the ministry of priests, is offered to God as a memorial of the sacrifice of the cross.

The fathers of the Church teaches that, the Eucharist is the mark of Christian unity and the foundation of love that nurture Christians into the one family of Christ (Acts 2:42-47).
St. John Chrysostom says, “It is not only in the manger the body of Christ is visible but also on the alter”.
St. Augustine would say, “The bread we see on the alter is the body of Christ”.

St. Jerome opines that, “It is very risky and dangerous to try going to heaven without the Eucharist”.
St. Peter Julian also opines that, “Happy the soul that knows how to find Christ in the Eucharist”.
We need to find Christ in the Eucharist because it is said, “You are what you eat”.

What are the practical lessons can we learn from the solemnity of the Body and Blood of Christ?

St. Paul reminds us in one of his epistles that, “The cup we bless is a communion with the Body and Blood of Christ”.
Since we share one Body of Christ, we should be one family. We should learn to be united and in union with one another as a family of Christ.

Those who receive Christ in the Eucharist shall experience God’s love, blessing, health, long life, prosperity, nourishment, upliftment, divine healing and divine encounter. (Mt 5:45).

For us to have eternal life we must always frequent the Eucharist.

For us to be united with Christ, we must be united with the Eucharist.

We recall in the gospel of St John where Jesus said to the Jews, “Unless you eat my body and drink my blood you will not have eternal life”. As soon as Christ made that assertion, the Jews began to murmured and argued among themselves saying, how can “This Man” give us his body and blood to eat? Are we carnivals? They called him “This Man” to express their disregard and disrespect for him.
We are like the Jews in this aspect. We doubt everything about Christ. That’s why some of us have a nonchalant attitude towards the Eucharist. Let us learn to respect Christ in the Eucharist.

Some of us are consistently inconsistent to receiving the Eucharist. Some of us think that it’s not important. But Christ tells us, unless you eat of my flesh and drink of my blood you will not have eternal life.

If we truly want to be like Christ, we must participate in the Eucharist.

The Eucharist helps us to be more and more united with one another in love and charity.

The Eucharist delivers us from the power of sin, evil and darkness.

……Lord to whom shall we go? You have the message of eternal life.

“O Sacrament most Holy, O Sacrament Divine, all praise and all Thanksgiving be every moment thine”.

Happy solemnity of the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ beloved in Christ.

Live the Eucharist! Stay in the Eucharist!!

1Cor 10:17

There is no greater asset in the world than the body and blood of Christ but it is worthless to us if we do not believe and live the life to which it calls us. When you and I receive d Eucharist

Ref 2

Readings: 1st R: Deut. 8: 2-3, 14-16 2nd R: 1 Cor. 10: 16-17 Gospel: John 6: 51-58
Permit me today to glide over the normal salivating Eucharistic theologies (which abound in the sequence of today) that should normally ornament a homily of today’s sort and to focus immediately on some of the Challenges which a celebration like today’s naturally evoke in us, Christians and especially Catholics.
This is because it would not be possible for us today, within the margined confines of our space and time, to accommodate all that could be said about the Eucharist in terms of the Scriptural and theological basis, its awesome meaning and implications, its merits and the great barrage of its Divine effects in our lives.


  1. APPRECIATION: The Eucharist is the greatest sign of God’s love and His desire to be one with us. It is the greatest visible sign of God’s physical presence WITH, IN and FOR us. It is God’s gift of Himself to us. It is the summit and acme of Christian Liturgy, and the point of departure and arrival of all the sacraments. This should provoke a deep sense of appreciation for God’s love. This appreciation should manifest in thanksgiving ‘eukaristein’ (Resp.Ps) and an ardent desire to deepen our understanding of the riches of this great Divine gift (*butcher and woman of mass) and the meaning as a paschal meal/sacrificial/passover meal (cf. sequence), as memorial meal (cf. Op. Pr./2nd R/Ex. 12: 44) as last supper, as foretaste of heavenly feast (Pr. After comm), as food for those of journey, as the real manna (1st R). It also implies deep reverence for this gracious gift of God (Cf. 1 Cor. 10: 16-18) and worship. Cf. St. John Chrysostom asking his mass servers to ring the sanctus bell after a Lady that received the Holy Communion and left immediately for home.
  2. UTILIZATION: We can have a great treasure and yet fail to make use of it. It is paradoxically true that despite this greatest food of God prepared for us by God himself, many Christians still die of hunger and starvation especially among our youths. How many people will not partake of this feast today? It is the paradox of many Catholics today; the paradox of scarcity in the midst of plenty, of many Christians drinking cisterns when they can easily access the rivers of life, of a community of shoemakers and shoe factories who all are unfortunately shoeless. Jesus emphasizes the indispensability of this food in the gospel of today (cf. John 6: 51-58, also Luke 22: 19) What is keeping you from participating in this free but indispensable food? Concubinage, secret sin, habitual sin, lack of courage to access the sacrament of reconciliation, pride…?
  3. PREPARATION /PURIFICATION: This great food needs preparation and purification for by partaking in it, we eat the very self of Jesus who is holiness personified. It is pretty much like washing one’s hands before a sumptuous meal. Reception of the Holy Eucharist in an unworthy state is like chewing palm kernel with decayed set of teeth or eating jollof rice with a plate smeared with human faeces. We can recall here the experience of John Chrysostom who saw the radiant Jesus crouched in an obscure, dirty hut and upon enquiry was told that is How Jesus assumes position in a heart that receives Him unworthily. (cf. sequence-diff. rewards for different recipients and also 1 Cor. 11)
  4. IMITATION: The Eucharist calls to imitate what we celebrate, to live out the Divine life. If we eat One who willingly gave His body as food, it means that we have also to let others ‘eat’ us. We have to vouchsafe those around us, a share of our intelligence, mental, physical, financial, spiritual and psychological resources. It calls to charity and sacrifice. Indeed, the vocation of the
    Christian is found in that of His master who is the ‘bread of life’ for just as the bread was taken, lifted up, blessed and then broken, so are we taken from among our folks, lifted up in different areas above them, blessed with His graces and abilities, and broken to be shared by others. We must allow the Eucharist we receive to also transform our lives.
  5. COMMUNION: Eating from the same table is usually the highest expression of oneness and unity from the cultural perspective. The Eucharistic is a great sign of unity among faithful who share the one body of Christ and so are formed to become the one body of Christ, since what we eat is what we become, hence, the name ‘communion’. The Communion rite begins with ‘our Father’ to show our common Father and consequent brother hood, and stretches through the kiss of peace, also to underscore the oneness of mind and heart that should characterize those who eat of the same body and blood of Christ. To be receiving ‘Holy Communion’ and yet not be in communion with the Church and or one another is a contradiction in terms. This is the great message of today’s 2nd R. (Cf. Exodus 12: 42-45, Passover food, to be celebrated in one house and not meant for strangers). But this communion calls us also to strive to be completely one (in perfect communion) with He whom we receive (cf. Gospel) for we are what we eat.
    The Eucharist is God made man; the second person of the Blessed Trinity and so deserves not just our reverence but our utmost adoration. The Church’s liturgy provides other fora for this adoration in not just the mass but installation of the Blessed Sacrament in chapel for perpetual adoration, in benediction, in Eucharistic processions, viaticum, communion to the sick. We must promote these devotions. It is the least we can do. We must support every endeavour to build a chapel for this perpetual personal encounter with the Eucharist. We will never go unrewarded once our names are written in this kind of holy venture.
    We ask the Lord to please make us worthier trustees of this loving gift of Himself in the Blessed Sacrament. Amen. We enjoin us all to believe in this great treasure which so many Eucharistic miracles extol, and to appreciate, utilize, prepare for, imitate, promote, replicate in communion what we celebrate. The most potent Christian is a Eucharistic Christian. Be proud of who and what you are and make the best use of it while you can! I am Catholic! I am alive I am the Gospel!! I am the Light!!!

Fr Joseph Osho

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