The Lord Is My Chef Sunday Recipe, Corpus Christi-B, 03 June 2018
Exodus 24:3-8///Hebrews 9:11-15///Mark 14:12-16, 22-26
When I was still assigned as teacher-administrator of the Immaculate Conception School for Boys (ICSB) of Malolos, I always reminded my students that in every first date they would have, always bring their girlfriend to a restaurant— the more expensive, the better! Because in every date, what matters most is not the food and drinks but the moment they share together to know each other. The same thing happens when we invite family and friends for a party or meal together at home when do much more than offer them food and drinks but friendship, fellowship, and intimacy or closeness. When we ask our guests to have more food and desserts as well as drinks of every kind plus “take-home” or “bitbit”, we actually offer them our very selves as food and drinks in the same manner they nourish us with their coming. This explains why we take time preparing everything, from the food down to the table-setting. It is not really the eating that matters but the togetherness, the growth of a spiritual bond as family and friends nourishing each other, becoming food and drinks for one another.
The same thing happens in a more complete and perfect manner whenever we celebrate the Holy Eucharist. By giving us His very self as Body and Blood, Jesus Christ our host in this sacred meal not only nourishes our spiritual and deepest longings but most of all offers us the most intimate communion possible with others and with God. He is the one who makes everything possible for us to be together, calling us to “come to Him with our burdens to find rest for He is humble and gentle of heart.”
On the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread, when they sacrifice the Passover lamb, Jesus’ disciples said to him, “Where do you want us to go and prepare for you to eat the Passover?” He sent two of his disciples and said to them, “Go into the city and a man will meet you, carrying a jar of water. Follow him. Wherever he enters, say to the master of the house, “The Teacher says, ‘Where is my guest room where I may eat the Passover with my disciples?’ Then he will show you a large upper room furnished and ready. Make the preparations for us there.” The disciples then went off, entered the city, and found it just as he had told them; and they prepared the Passover.(Mk.14:12-16)
See how Jesus prepared everything for their Passover meal: He had prepared everything most likely in secret to surprise His disciples for that important meal together. In His last supper, Jesus was like Jack Ryan or Jason Bourne when He arranged everything with coded messages like following “a man carrying a jar of water” because in ancient Israel, the woman is the one who fetches water. You cannot find a man carrying a jar of water unless there is something extraordinary like in our gospel today. And that is how much God loves us, always taking the initiative to meet us, to encounter us, to be closest with us. It is always Jesus Christ who takes the initiative to meet us and bless us like in the Holy Eucharist. Imagine at the start of the Mass, right away He welcomes us even if we are sinners, granting us pardon even before we have asked forgiveness. In the Eucharist, we are even far more better than the apostles who have lived and seen the Lord because we are more closer to Him than them when we receive His Body and Blood in Holy Communion. That is what really happens in the sacred meal of the Holy Eucharist, a divine communion! It is the most perfect moment to pray when Jesus is Body and Blood, truly Himself inside our body: tell Jesus whatever you want, complaint if you want to and after speaking to Him, listen. He always have something to tell us every day but we are so busy with so many things that we fail to even recognize His presence.
In celebrating the Solemnity of the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ today, we experience the love and unity of God expressed in last week’s celebration of the Blessed Trinity, of how the three Persons in their mutual giving of self to each other outpoured upon us life and abundant blessings. Like the three Persons bonded in love, we too can achieve that unity with God and with others through the Holy Eucharist. As we get into the rhythm of Ordinary Time since after Pentecost Sunday, we have been celebrating in the past two consecutive Sundays the Solemnities of Trinity and Body and Blood to remind us of the great lessons of love and mercy we have realized and experienced in Easter must grow in us throughout this year. There is a beautiful descent of God’s mysteries into our very selves that culminates on Friday when we celebrate the Solemnity of the Sacred Heart. From the highest truth of our faith last Trinity Sunday, we now have this feast of Body and Blood of Christ as an experience in the Holy Eucharist of that Trinitarian love and unity that deepens into our very hearts on Friday’s Solemnity of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus. See how in every movement, in every step, there is always God taking the initiative to meet us, to be with us. A blessed week to you!
Fr.Nicanor F. Lalog II
Parokya Ng SanJuan Apostol At Ebanghelista
Gov.F.HaliliAve., Bagbaguin, Sta.Maria,
*Photo from Google, the famous icon of Trinity by Andrei Rublev (c. 1411) based on Gen. 18 when Abraham was visited by three angels at Mamre. The icon now hangs at the Tretyakov Gallery in Moscow. It is one of the best portrayal of the Holy Trinity that is also very Eucharistic at the same time.