The Body and Blood of Christ, Year B

Published on 28 May 2018
Altar set out for Mass.

‘This is my body’

O God, who in this wonderful Sacrament

have left us a memorial of your Passion, grant us, we pray, so to revere

the sacred mysteries of your Body and Blood

that we may always experience in ourselves the fruits of your redemption.

Christ is our eternal high priest, forever interceding to the Father, through the Spirit, for us. The readings this Sunday guide us through the unfolding of the wonderful plan to make all people at one with God.

We begin by hearing how the old Covenant was written in tablets of stone and sealed with the sacrifice of animals. Moses was the mediator, and he cast the blood of the sacrifices over the people as a symbol of their communion with God. (First Reading)

Our Psalm is a thanksgiving song for the saving goodness of the Lord. The verses anticipate both the Passion of Our Lord and our Eucharistic celebrations.

The letter to the Hebrews (Second Reading) is a detailed explanation of how Christ’s self sacrifice has replaced the old Mosaic covenant and religious practices. Christ freely offered himself up to the Father to atone for our sins, and in allowing his blood to be shed on the cross, Christ became the new living Covenant. In doing so, Jesus undid once and for all any need for human or animal sacrifice to make peace with God.

In Mark’s Gospel narrative of the Last Supper we witness the beginning of the New Covenant of love. Jesus is the template for the new promise. Christ is both sacrifice and Covenant. What was once written on cold, dead stones is now written in the living hearts of Christians. With the words ‘This is my body .... This is my blood’ we are invited to share in a new communion with God. We become one with Christ in this eternal Covenant of love and are called to share the Risen Christ with all people. With whom am I called to share this Covenant of love?

Now Christ has come, as the high priest of all the blessings which were to come.  Second Reading

Your servant, Lord, your servant am I; you have loosened my bonds. Responsorial Psalm

‘I am the living bread which has come down from heaven’, says the Lord. ‘Anyone who eats this bread will live for ever.’  Gospel Acclamation

This week’s texts if you want to reflect further:

Exodus 24: 3–8; Psalm 115 (116); Hebrews 9: 11–15; Mark 14:12–1,.22–26