On this day of the feast of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ we usually focus on the Eucharist as being spiritual food provided to the faithful. We speak of the eucharistic table and meal, of eating the body of Christ, and of drinking his blood.
But there is another key word, occurring in all three readings today, that should help us understand what is as stake in the Eucharist. That word is covenant. The Eucharist commemorates and reenacts God’s new and definitive covenant with his people through Jesus. A new people is born, whose destiny remains open-ended and inclusive, free from any barriers: “This is my blood of the covenant, which will be shed for many,” says Jesus to his disciples.
In other words, the Eucharist is not meant to be a private devotion but rather the enactment of a covenant, the very building up of a community. While fewer people participate in Sunday Eucharist, could it be that the problem is not so much a certain fatigue or dissatisfaction about how Mass is celebrated, but rather the lack of awareness and pride of being part of a community which is happy to be God’s own?
Faith is not meant to be a private matter either. We believe together with our Christian community. Truly, as our tradition holds: “The Church makes the Eucharist and the Eucharist makes the Church.”
— Jean-Pierre Prévost
Psalm 116:12–13, 15–16, 17–18
Mark 14:12–16, 22–26