Moses reminded the Jews how they had been blessed by God, “Remember how for forty years now the Lord, your God, has directed all your journeying in the desert…He fed you with manna, a food unknown to you and your fathers…He brought you out of the land of Egypt, that place of slavery…He guided you through the vast and terrible desert with its serpents and scorpions.”
They were blessed by God but they did not live the blessed life that God demanded and for which He had set them free from bondage in Egypt. On the contrary, they abandoned God, adopted the idols of their pagan neighbors, and were eventually exiled from their Promised Land because they failed to reflect God’s holiness to their neighboring nations as God intended.
The Solemnity of the most holy body and blood of Christ reminds us Catholics that we are more blessed than the Jews were blessed because of the hidden presence of the God-man Jesus Christ with us, body, blood, soul and divinity in the Eucharist. In Him we have with us, under the forms of bread and wine, the same God who liberated His people from bondage, fed them with mysterious manna, gave them water from the rock, and patiently directed them all the way to the Promised Land despite their repeated infidelity. We likewise thus have a greater calling to live a blessed life and no one and nothing dispenses us from striving for this blessed life.
Jesus described this blessed life when He spoke of the Eucharist in these words, “Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him on the last day. For my flesh is true food and my blood is true drink.” We can deduce from this statement of Jesus three dimensions of this blessed life that the Real Presence of Jesus in the Eucharist demands from us today.
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