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  • Writer's pictureChristopher Looby

Feast of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Jesus 2024

The stained glass window of the Annunciation located at St. Mary's Church in Ticonderoga.

Today we celebrate the Feast of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Jesus, a day when we reflect deeply on the Eucharist, the source, and summit of our Christian life. 

This Sunday is also extra special as some of our young ones will be receiving their First Communion. How wonderful it is to witness their first encounter with the Body and Blood of Christ!

There is a beautiful stained glass window here at St. Mary's Church, depicting the Annunciation: the angel Gabriel appearing to Mary to tell her the joyful news that she was going to be the mother of joy incarnate - Jesus!

This window is always at my right staring at me as I come down the steps to distribute Holy Communion and while distributing Holy Communion 

This scene is a powerful reminder for me and for all of us about the joy that should accompany the giving and receiving of the Eucharist.

Imagine the joy that filled Mary’s heart when Gabriel announced that she would bear the Son of God. Gabriel, too, must have delivered this message with great joy, knowing the profound significance of his words. 

This joy is not just a fleeting happiness but a deep, abiding sense of fulfillment and divine presence.

As I distribute Holy Communion with that window staring right at me, I am reminded that, like Gabriel, I am bringing Jesus, the source of eternal joy, to you. 

This is not just a ritual but a profound moment where heaven meets earth. Therefore, I must do it with a smile on my face, reflecting the joy of the Eucharist.

Similarly, as you come forward to receive the Eucharist, remember that you are receiving the incarnate joy of Jesus into your hearts. 

Let this be a moment of profound joy for you as well. Approach the Eucharist with a smile, knowing that you are receiving the greatest gift of all.

To our young ones receiving their First Communion today: remember that this is a day of great joy. You are receiving Jesus for the first time in this special way. 

Let your hearts be filled with happiness and let your faces reflect the joy of this holy encounter.

In today’s Gospel, we hear about the Last Supper, where Jesus instituted the Eucharist. 

He took bread, blessed it, broke it, and gave it to his disciples, saying, "Take; this is my body." He took a cup, gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, "This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many."

Jesus gave Himself to us out of love and joy. His sacrifice on the cross was the ultimate act of love, and the Eucharist is the ongoing gift of that love. When we receive the Eucharist, we are united with Christ's sacrifice and His joy.

As we celebrate this Feast of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Jesus, let us remember to receive and give the Eucharist with joy. 

Let our faces shine with the light of Christ's love, and let our hearts be filled with the joy of His presence. 

Just as Gabriel brought the message of joy to Mary, may our smiles and our joy be a testament to the living presence of Christ among us. 

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