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Body and Blood of Christ.

June 6, 2021 COVID. Obligation of Mass Restored.

“Commemorates the Real Presence of the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ in the appearance of bread and wine in the Eucharist" Lector Workbook, 2021.

Mark: 14:12-16, 22-26

There will be blood.

The writers of the Gospels had technique. They used literary techniques as sophisticated as any used today by writers of commercials, the New York Times, or Fox News.

They used these techniques to enhance their writing so that you might come to believe that Jesus is the Son of God.

One of these techniques is known as ‘sandwiching.’

Two stories ‘sandwich’ the Last Supper narrative. These two stories were omitted in today’s Gospel reading but given the times in which we are living, it might be helpful to consider them.

Mark: 14:17-22 and 14:27-31 are the slices of bread that sandwich the pea-nut butter and jelly of Mark’s last supper (verses 22-26).

In Mark: 14:17-22, Jesus reveals that one of his own would betray him.

Imagine how Jesus must have felt.

Have you ever been betrayed: Husband or wife? Brother or sister? Teammate, partner, friend or parent?

After this depressing revelation, Jesus offers the Passover prayer but adds a twist saying that the bread is His flesh and the wine is His blood; which will initiate a new relationship between God and people.

His dysfunctional family of choice (the Apostles) eat, sing, and head out to the Garden. As they are going (vs.27-31) Jesus says: One of His own, Peter, would deny him not once, not twice, but many times and all the other disciples will have their faith shaken.

All of you will have your faith shaken!

Sandwiched between betrayals and denials.

Between scandals and greed.

Between Republicans and Democrats.

Between masks, social distancing, and COVID-19.

Between your individual rights and the common good.

All of you will have your faith shaken!

“The shepherd will be struck, and the sheep will be scattered.”

Stealing an election, Chapter 11, clergy sexual abuse, and the continuing indifference to the lynching of blacks by police have shaken my faith.

It is members of the Body of Christ who do this: Judas on the Right, Peter on the Left and the Body and Blood of Jesus in between.

Of the other ten disciples; they are silent, doubting, and entertaining conspiracies.

Oh! There will be blood, church.

Between U. S. who are betraying or silent, and U. S. who are denying and silent; there will be blood.

Between the conspiracy to betray Jesus and the denial of Jesus three times; there will be blood.

What are we to do?

Jesus takes bread, gives thanks and blessing.

Breaks the bread. Gives it to those on the right and those on the left saying;

“Take, this is my body.”

Over the wine he gives thanks and blessing saying;

“This is my blood.”

In sadness he concludes, “I shall not drink again the fruit of the vine, until the day when I drink it new, in the Kingdom of God.”

Between betrayals and denials-church, I want to be with Jesus who gives thanks and blesses and shares His broken body and spilled blood.

This is the new relationship between God who is perfect and you and I who are not.

Jesus chose Judas and Peter and the silent 10 men and women to be with Him as He has chosen you and I and all Catholic deniers and betrayers.

We are all deniers and betrayers!

And we are all the Good News of Jesus Christ, if we choose to be.

Jesus agonizes in the Garden: His friends, His enemies, His God, His mother; His body and soul.

If you have experienced agony in these last two years, you have experienced the Body and Blood of Jesus.

If you have struggled with your will, you have experienced the Body and Blood of Jesus.

If you have risen and fallen or been enraged and benumbed, you have experienced the Body and Blood of Jesus.

Jesus is the mediator of this new relationship who “cleans our conscience from dead works, to worship the living God.”

Call upon the name of the Lord and be saved!

See who you are! Become who see!

Blessed be God!

Blessed be God’s holy name!

Blessed be Jesus Christ; True God and True man!

Blessed be the Name of Jesus!

Blessed be His most Sacred Heart!

Blessed be His most Precious Blood!

Blessed be Jesus in the most holy sacrament of the altar!

Blessed be God, in His angles and in his saints!