Archbishop John Wong reciting the Eucharistic prayer at a Mass in 2019
By Agnes Chai
June 16 2020
THE suspension of Mass during the recovery stage of the movement control order (RMCO) continues to deprive the faithful of receiving the “Divine Food” – the Body and Blood of Christ that transforms.
The universal Church celebrates the Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ, also called the Feast of Corpus Christi on Jun 14. The feast of the Body and Blood of Christ celebrates the real Presence of Christ, that is, we believe that after the invocation of the Holy Spirit, the bread and wine that we offer have become the Body and Blood of Christ; and they are our spiritual Food and Drink for eternal life.
The live streaming of the Mass and not holding a traditional outdoor Corpus Christi procession after Mass were part of the ongoing efforts to contain the spread of the coronavirus.
In previous years at Sacred Heart Cathedral, the solemn procession in which the parish priest carried a monstrance containing the Blessed Sacrament through the lanes within the Church compound would be lined with over a thousand parishioners.
In his homily, Archbishop John Wong said we should really ask ourselves honestly “Do we really believe that these Bread and Wine have become the Body and Blood of Christ?”
He underlined, the Body and Blood come down from heaven has become our daily Bread and our sustenance in our journey of life.
Each time we celebrate the Eucharist – the Body and Blood of Christ, he added, we remember what happened in the past, how in feeding the people with manna, God made them understand that “man does not live on bread alone but on everything that comes from the mouth of God”.
“And the Word of God” maintained Archbishop Wong “is capable of solving situations that, humanly speaking, are desperate. To those who are becoming exhausted or tired in their journey of life, Jesus is offering us a completely New Bread – His Word and His Body – the Divine Food.”
In the Discourse on the Bread of Life in the Gospel of John Ch 6, that was exactly what Jesus announced in “the Multitude of Loaves” that one day he will give people (and us) another type of Bread – the Bread of life to nourish our spiritual hunger.
Archbishop Wong declared that Jesus never meant that we had to “receive Holy Communion many times” – rather when Jesus said that it was necessary to “eat Him”, He meant that we must receive IT with faith, that is, we must be ready to be transformed into His Person.
As we “communion with” or “eat” the “Divine Food – Body and Blood of Christ”, we “offer up our own selves to Him so that He can keep living, suffering, giving Himself and rising again in us. In other words, we “let the life of Jesus continue in us”.
He concluded, one does not eat or partake the Body and Blood of Christ just to be closer to Jesus, nor do we use it as an occasion to just ask for particular favors, taking advantage of the fact that He has come to visit us; rather “communion with Him” is to identify ourselves with Him, to be One in Him and Him in us.
Just as the Lord makes us one with Him in the Eucharist, let us not turn away from those around us, especially in this time of the pandemic.