Gospel Reflection June 2 – Deacon Frank Iannarino

Sunday, June 2

The Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ

Mark 14: 12-16, 22-26


On the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread,

when they sacrificed 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.

While they were eating,

he took bread, said the blessing,

broke it, gave it to them, and said,

“Take it; this is my body.”

Then he took a cup, gave thanks, and gave it to them,

and they all drank from it.

He said to them,

“This is my blood of the covenant,

which will be shed for many.

Amen, I say to you,

I shall not drink again the fruit of the vine

until the day when I drink it new in the kingdom of God.”

Then, after singing a hymn,

they went out to the Mount of Olives.

Gospel Reflection:

In Sunday’s gospel, we hear about the preparations the disciples made for the Passover just before the death of Jesus. They asked Jesus what they are to do. He tells them go to the city and prepare a room for the meal. And in the second part of the text, we hear the words of Jesus that mean so much: “This is my Body” and “This is my Blood.”

In the Gospel of Mark, he continues, “…the blood of the covenant.” The United States Bishops explain, “His blood of the covenant both alludes to the ancient rite from the Book of Exodus (24:4-8) and indicates the new covenant that the sacrifice of Jesus will bring into being.” A covenant is more than a contract. It is a deep and binding promise, a bond.

On this feast of The Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ, our attention is especially drawn to the Eucharist. How do we understand the Eucharist? What does it mean to us? Does being nourished by the Eucharist translate into a different way of life? All good questions to ponder. Beginning this weekend our parish hopes to enhance our worship when we come to Mass by calling special attention to the very moment Jesus becomes present to us at the consecration – Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity – with the joyous sound of chiming bells. 🔔

As we celebrate Corpus Christi – the traditional Latin name for this feast – may we reflect on how it defines who we are. We are a Eucharistic people. We give thanks for the abundant blessings God has given us, especially the salvation won by his Son. How we see ourselves and how we treat others is rooted in our belief that God loves us so much that he sacrifices his only Son. Let us pray for the grace to grow in understanding of the Eucharist and ourselves. We are called to be a blessing for all. Every time we celebrate the Eucharist remember and give thanks for the new covenant Jesus established with us.

Deacon Frank Ianarrino