Home » Gospel Reflections » June 2, 2024: The Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ (Corpus Christi)

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June 2, 2024: The Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ (Corpus Christi)

Gospel: Mark 14: 12-16, 22-26

On the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread, when they sacrificed the Passover lamb, Jesus’ disciples said to him, “Where do you want us to go and prepare for you to eat the Passover?” He sent two of his disciples and said to them, “Go into the city and a man will meet you, carrying a jar of water. Follow him. Wherever he enters, say to the master of the house, ‘The Teacher says, “Where is my guest room where I may eat the Passover with my disciples?’” Then he will show you a large upper room furnished and ready. Make the preparations for us there.” The disciples then went off, entered the city, and found it just as he had told them; and they prepared the Passover.

While they were eating, he took bread, said the blessing, broke it, gave it to them, and said, “Take it; this is my body.” Then he took a cup, gave thanks, and gave it to them, and they all drank from it. He said to them, “This is my blood of the covenant, which will be shed for many. Amen, I say to you, I shall not drink again the fruit of the vine until the day when I drink it new in the kingdom of God.” Then, after singing a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives.


Celebrating the Solemnity of the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ, the word that comes to mind for most of us is probably “Eucharist.”

It means “thanksgiving,” but we use it to refer to the real presence of Jesus with us. Let us consider a brief but certainly not comprehensive list of examples in Scripture where Divine Presence has been connected with bread and wine:

In Genesis, Abel brought a sacrifice of the first fruits of the earth; a nonviolent offering to thank God for what God had made and given to him.

Moses told the Hebrew people they were to eat unleavened bread and drink wine in preparation for the exodus from Egypt.

It was a practical meal meant to nourish but also symbolize their humble and bittersweet circumstances as the meal was consumed in flight. There was no hanging around afterward.

Boaz offered Ruth bread and invited her to dip it in the wine during their courtship; one commentary suggests that this union of King David’s great-grandparents (and ancestors to Jesus) illustrates not only God’s love for each person but how that love is to be shared by all, especially those who are labeled “other”.

Throughout the Old Testament, one of the most common consequences for the ancient people straying from the will of God was famine in the land — a lack of grain and grapes.

Paul was the apostle who wrote the first scriptural eucharistic institution narrative and made clear the sacred nature of the bread and wine, but Paul was also the one who repeatedly described us — the followers of Christ — as the one body of Christ.

It’s clear to me that Jesus, in instituting the Last Supper covenant, had something monumental in mind. Like Abel, there are elements of our personal relationship with God in this meal; like the people following Moses, it’s also a communal action; and like Ruth, it is oriented toward an intimate unity that crosses our artificial human-made boundaries.

Note that “covenant” has a distinct meaning signifying a deeply personal and communal relationship.

We are called upon to be in relationship with God and with one another. The root of the word “communion” is common sharing or common experience; not mundane, but belonging to the whole.

When we celebrate Eucharist, we can (and should) find time for that common-union with God, but we should also recognize that the communion we share in is not one-way or even two-way; it’s a multi-path mystical place of being shared by God, me, and everyone around me in the assembly.

Recall the Passover again: Why do we have communion at the end of the liturgy? To go beyond that assembly into the world and carry that embodiment of Divine Love to everyone we encounter.


This week, join me as I pray for the grace to try to recognize where Jesus may be really and truly present in the places and faces I have a tendency to overlook. How can I truly share in Christ beyond the liturgy and walls of our worship spaces? How can I transform some of the “me” moments into “we” moments?

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Brad Crites

Brad Crites

Brad Crites is a Providence Associate and former webmaster and adjunct faculty member at Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College. He specializes in teaching and learning as well as organizational culture and change dynamics. He is committed to philanthropy and community development as a Lilly Scholar Alumnus. He currently works for Purdue University as an Educational Technology Consultant. Brad lives with his wife, Tiffany, and their children, Brooklyn and Brett, on their historic family farm near Solsberry, Indiana.

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