Fr Thomas’ Reflection for The Most Holy Body & Blood of Christ (Corpus Christi)

We Are What We Eat

“We are what we eat” is a well-known expression. Obesity is attributed to unhealthy eating. Choosing to eat the right stuff can even cure many physical problems. Even some of mental conditions like depression are linked to eating habits. But the right manner of eating can create friends and happiness. Family ties are strengthened by family meals. Business lunches play a big role in the commercial world. Welcomes and rejections are determined by whether or not the guests accept invitations to meals. The meal we decide to eat is not only a nourishment for our bodies, but in many ways, also defines who we are.

Jesus, before his death on the cross, provided a meal to his disciples which would signify ‘who they are’ for ages to come. He blessed bread at his last supper and said ‘this is my body broken for you. Take and eat of it’. He virtually told the disciples that by eating this bread and drinking the blessed wine, they become part of the Body of Christ. Jesus asked his disciples to continue to do this sharing of ‘blessed and broken bread and blessed wine’ thereafter. This was a call for them to continue to be part of his body. What the disciples did on Sundays thereafter, we too do now. We too become one with the Body of Christ each Sunday with great devotion. This act of ‘coming into union with Christ’ is called the Holy Communion. Since Christ is Holy, we who become part of his body also are Holy.

There may be a tendency to equate holiness with perfection. One might think that a person needs to be without any sin or malice to be holy. No human being can be perfect, yet we can be holy. Holiness is not perfection. Holiness is your communion (connection) with the Body of Christ. Many and varied as we are, coming into union with Christ, we become the Body of Christ. Therefore, we are the Holy Body of Christ the world will see and experience. Gathered together as partakers of the Body of Christ, we are called the Holy Catholic (universal) Church. Jesus Christ was the embodiment of compassion, forgiveness, and human dignity in his time on earth as a human being and now we collectively are to be the embodiment of compassion, justice, forgiveness, and human dignity in our world. Thus, essentially, we become the Holy Body of Christ. Just as Jesus was glorified in resurrection, you who are part of his Body through Holy Communion also are to be glorified after your earthly pilgrimage. The Holy Communion with the Body of Christ defines your religious identity so much that the Church’s discipline requires Catholics participate in Mass every weekend. Also, all other six sacraments are directed towards the Eucharist which constitutes the Church. Since it was God’s will that humans should share in his divinity, let there be praise and glory to the most holy Sacrament of the Altar.