Today we celebrate the Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ. This feast was celebrated as Corpus Christi until Vatican II. Vatican II opened this feast by allowing all of God’s people to receive Holy Communion under both species. Up until then the people only received the body of Christ.
The custom of using bread and wine for an offering to God goes all the way back to Abram. That was Abraham’s name before God changed it. Abram was under attack from invaders of foreign kings that combined forces others could not defeat. With the help of God, Abram is able to defeat these invaders and recover his land and people.
Abram enlists Melchizedek, the king of Salem and also a priest of God, to offer thanksgiving to God for his victory. Melchizedek does so with the simple things of everyday life – bread and wine. At the Last Supper, Jesus also uses bread and wine as an offering to God. Using the words “this is my body” and “this is my blood,” he commands his Apostles to do the same telling them to “do this in memory of me.”
It is a great privilege for all of us to receive Jesus in the Holy Eucharist. Jesus comes to us in the simple forms of bread and wine. These are readily available, common everyday elements. When Jesus gives us this great gift, we become part of him and he becomes part of us. When we eat the consecrated bread and sip the consecrated wine, we ingest our Lord into our bodies. Our bodies take this special food and turn it into cells that live within us. God has given us himself. There is no greater gift that anyone can give anyone but themselves!
Peace and All Good!