In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, Amen.
In the Last Supper, our Lord gives his Body and Blood. We have everything that we need for the long journey. Life and strength, nourishment and courage, faith, endurance…. Everything is given to us in the Holy Eucharist, that you receive in Holy Communion. And the Church looks at the host, adoring him in wonder, and we all do the same thing today, when we look at Jesus, today, in the Blessed Sacrament, at Consecration, and at Benediction. We have to wonder, how much God loves us. You and me. Nothing that we are. But God loves us so much that he makes sure that you and I have a means to access him, to remain in him, to be united to him, and nothing can take us away from Jesus, if we remain united to him in Holy Communion…without sin, of course.
And this Blessed Sacrament that we gaze upon in wonder is given for all time, so that all of us, and the Church, will continually look and wonder, adoring and remembering how much God loves you and me.
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So the Holy Eucharist is the bond between us and Jesus. The Protestants have great difficulty with the concept that we can remain in Jesus this way, and so when they stumble upon certain verses in St. John’s Gospel, it makes no sense to them. Jesus said, not only regarding the Last Supper, he said, “I am the vine, you are the branches. Remain in me and you shall live. Without me, you can do nothing.” Now this is what exactly he meant when Jesus said: “Remain in me”. We remain in Jesus by receiving Holy Communion frequently, without sin. So that the bond of Communion between us and him may never be severed, for any reason. If we receive Jesus in Holy Communion faithfully, and purely, then we can say with St. Paul that “there is nothing that can separate me from the love of Christ, be it nakedness, or persecution, or death, or the sword, or wretchedness… " Nothing can take me away from the love of Jesus if I remain in him in Holy Communion - without sin.
And so, on this Sunday, Corpus Christi, Jesus Christ Our Lord and God and Savior, is telling you and me, he is calling out, to you and to me, “Remain with me! Don’t leave me! Don’t leave me! I give you what you need for staying with me, so don’t leave me!“ And we also cry out to him, “Lord, don’t leave us! Because leaving you, we have nothing in this world.” What else do we have, but Jesus Christ?
Now, a lot of people I know in my circle of friends, they are very well-to-do. They are surrounded by luxuries: cars, houses, vacation homes, trips, food,… whatever. But they are not happy, because deep down they realize that there is something that is not there for them. They live in luxury, but that life is not the same without Jesus… and they know it. And many of them left the Church many years ago for any reason. But they know that their life without Jesus is empty. Surrounded by luxury and opulence, they are not happy. Their heart is heavy, because Jesus is not in their life. And so they long for him - without knowing they long for him.
And you long for him, don’t you? When we are faithful to Jesus Christ and then we are sick or ill, alone in a hospital bed somewhere, or even in a nursing home, that intense longing for Jesus surfaces, and we are overwhelmed sometime. Without looking at the host, without receiving him, we are overwhelmed. I know this, because I bring you Holy Communion when you are sick.
This one lady, -- years old. She would drive many miles to Mass, and now she can no longer because she is very ill and very elderly. And I can only come twice a month because I am very busy. But when I come with Jesus it is like the whole house is transformed into a joyful festival for her. We light the candles, we kneel down, and we say the prayers, and she receives holy communion. And that makes her week, and her month, and her day. She lives,…she was,…she is well. She has everything. Her family loves her. They live with her, they take care of her, and yet it is not the same without Holy Communion, and the joy that radiates from her face is amazing and I told her, “Don’t worry about me driving all this distance. Your faith and your devotion, your love for Jesus, helps me in my priesthood. I thank you, because without faith like this, to verify my own faith, I cannot live this way. I cannot survive this way. Without your faith to verify my faith I cannot life this way, because it is very hard to be a priest in these times. But your faith helps strengthen my faith, your faith in Jesus Christ in the Blessed Sacrament.” Without him, we have nothing. Nothing at all.
So Jesus gives us in Holy Communion as response to our prayer. The fourth petition of the Our Father asks: “Give us this day our daily bread.” And we don’t mean just the bread that satiates our physical hunger, but the bread that is given today for tomorrow. The bread of eternal life, that we have a taste of - already in this life, without which we cannot live. The Protestants, they don’t have this. I pray for them. For those who live without Jesus Christ in Holy Communion are desolate. Are wretched. But they don’t know.
But we have the food for eternal life. “Give us this day our daily bread.” Jesus is coming every day to you and to me and we cannot be thankful enough for that, can we? And then what is the last petition of the Our Father? “And deliver us not from evil.” Jesus Christ will deliver us from every form of evil that attacks us. Jesus delivers us from sin and vices, if we cling to him. If we cling to him! And there is nothing, I say again, nothing, that can separate you and me from him, if we remain in him. No, nothing! If we don’t do this, if we don’t remember this, you and I are going to be torn away from Jesus and life will be wretched. If we let our sins destroy our bond with him,if we let it lapse for some reason, if we don’t look at Jesus every day, if we don’t pray to him every day, then we shall be torn away, snatched away from Jesus and will be wretched. I don’t know how I can live my life without him. Can you? Let not anything snatch us away from him. May we never be torn away from Jesus. But the faith in Jesus Christ in Holy Communion, and our reception of him in Holy Communion is the means that makes sure that you and I can never be torn away from Jesus.
So today, there is nothing I can say, really, that really adds to more than what is wonderful already. So let us on our knees kneel adoring and thanking God for everything, and may you and I, you and I, never take Jesus Christ in Holy Communion for-granted. Beat our breasts, say “I’m sorry, Lord.” But beg him for the grace to not ever, ever, take him for-granted, under any circumstances, because if we are not careful, everything that we do here will become routine, and regular, and mediocre, and we cannot do that. Jesus Christ is Lord, and God, and Savior, and he gave us everything he has in the Holy Eucharist. We have to give him everything that we have in our receiving the Holy Eucharist.
May God help us.