When we attend the Eucharist, a major highlight of our celebration is adoring the Body and Blood of Christ at the consecration and receiving this Body of in communion. At Mass, we profess our faith that as Christ the Lord offered to us his Physical Body on the Cross, so today he is with us in his SacramentalBody. We are deeply concerned about receiving the Body of Christ in a worthy manner by our posture, our interior disposition and our spiritual preparation.  We make sure that we are in the state of grace, not of mortal sin, when we receive Communion.

This is a correct and proper attitude towards the Eucharist for the bread we receive is no ordinary bread.  Jesus stresses in the gospel that he is the bread of life coming down from heaven.  As the Father scattered the “manna” – the bread from the sky – for the Israelites, so today the Father nourishes us with the real Bread from Heaven, his Son Jesus Christ.  Our faith rests further in the fact that it was Jesus who instituted this sacrament for us and proclaimed:  This is my Body given up for you…do this in remembrance of me.  The true Church of Christ is the Church that preserves the sacrament of his Body.

It is very humbling to realize that God, in loving us, assumed a human body.  If human beings are to be convinced of the sincerity of God’s love, they need to know and to feel it through the only means they can – through the body. Jesus embraced our body and communicated the grace of God through his body.  He healed the sick, raised the dead, spoke the message of salvation, fed the hungry – all through his bodily presence. 

No doubt then that God who created men and women with physical bodies are reminded today more than ever of the importance of the body.  In our bodies, we are the image and likeness of God.  In our body, we are redeemed from sin.  In our body, we hope for the moment of resurrection, when we will be given a glorified body like the Risen Christ.  The body is so important.  God loves us through our bodies.

The devil, the enemy of God, knows the essential role of the body in our life of grace.  In our time, if there is one thing that the devil tries to destroy in order to frustrate the plan of God, it is none other than the way we look at our bodies.  If our attitude toward our bodies are changed, then God’s designs will also not materialize.

Some people are lured into destroying their bodies through drugs and unhealthy diet.  Some people use their bodies merely for pleasure without any responsibility.  The effects are seen in abortion, same-sex marriage, pornography, concubinage and homosexuality.  A distorted look at our bodies produces sadness and regret and the destruction of the family.

In a moment, we will receive the Body of Christ and say ‘amen’ to this mystery of faith.  Remember that Jesus offers his Body to us as the act of perfect love – this is My Body…for you.  Let us treasure this sacrament by valuing the body that God loves in us.  Let us remember that we are the temple of the Holy Spirit and that our bodies are our means to enter into meaningful relationship with God and with one another.