I am not an

Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me and I in him. Just as the living Father sent me and I have life because of the Father, so also the one who feeds on me will have life because of me.

In any good relationship we see the other person for who they are – first and foremost a human being. We look beyond appearance, beyond the externals, beyond our personal desires and wants (what we can take from or get from that person) and recognize their value. We treat that person with respect and honor and want to be with them. We want to be with them because they offer their humanity and respect in return for the humanity and respect we offer.

As Christians we easily see the sin of turning others into objects. We also know the problems inherent in pursuing things as solutions to problems or as an end in themselves.

During the 8 days that began Thursday, June 19th we particularly honor and commemorate Jesus’ gift of His body and blood in the Eucharist. Our minds and hearts are called to adore Jesus in this precious gift. However, we must be very careful to keep the reality of Jesus before us.

When the Church was new, the Apostles and all those who knew Jesus, who lived and ministered alongside Him, who were taught by Him, recognized His reality.

In the centuries that followed Christians recognized the reality of Jesus in the celebration of the Holy Eucharist. When they recalled Him saying: “Do this in remembrance of Me,” they actually heard: “Do this and be one with Me.” For them, the celebration of the Eucharist every Sunday was an active encounter with the reality of Jesus. These Christians were one with Jesus at every moment of His eternity, His earthly life, and His return in glory. They were with Jesus in the past, present, and future. All this was found in the Eucharist. They saw, felt, and lived the reality of Jesus and the promise He gave: Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me and I in him. He was with and in them and they knew it. They realized that by participating in the Eucharist and receiving Holy Communion they were with Him and each other forever.

Later, and for many reasons, the people of the Church stopped seeing the Eucharist as an encounter with the reality of Jesus. Certainly the Church never lost faith in Jesus’s real presence in the signs of bread and wine, but the Eucharist became more an object, a memory limited three days in Jesus’ life. The Body and Blood were adored, but as an object. Our obligation is to take this Solemnity and every Sunday as a call to re-encounter the reality of Jesus who remains with us now and forever.