We like to think that the giving of gifts will be received with gratitude, that the gift will be appreciated and treasured, and that the relationship between the giver and the recipient will be enhanced.
Today our feast reminds us that since the first suggestion of the Gift of Corpus Christi, violence has surrounded even the very notion, let alone the reality of this Gift.
To his original audience, the descendants of those who found life and deliverance in obedience to the Law of Moses and from the manna eaten in the wilderness perennially recalled and celebrated every Passover, Jesus now proposes the absolute need to eat the flesh and drink the blood of the Son of Man. A big ask, both then and now. They disputed and argued and some plotted to do away with him. The violence to his face was materialised in the violence to his body and subsequent horrible death on the cross. Many today perpetuate that violence and others simply reject the Gift.
We’re asked on this feast to revisit the same Gift offered to us which, in our time, is offered via the celebration of the Eucharist…food in the proclamation of the Word and life for the total person in the eating and drinking.
“Do this in memory of me.”
The doing, of course, is not simply in turning up, but is completed by taking the Gift to the world. This we do by lives of loving service to all our sisters and brothers.