At this time in our culture we can see a “crisis of commitment” building. It seems that more and more our young people are having difficulty committing themselves to a life path and making a decision for life. Everything today seems so tentative. The model of freedom that is advanced in our culture is one of “keeping your options open.” Change seems to be the solution we seek to all of our problems. If you are not happy then leave and through change seek a better situation elsewhere. Life becomes a shallow pool of experiences in which we seek to multiply our experiences rather than deepen them. We ourselves become shallow persons, unwilling to face the vulnerability in this constantly changing environment of plumbing and revealing the deeper recesses of our interior being, our most true self. Unfortunately, this environment of temporary goods preferred over permanent and lasting good leaves us feeling like there is no true meaning in life and no purpose to direct the course of our life. We are in a sense adrift in a meaningless sea of shallow encounters.
The Solemnity of Corpus Christi, the Body and Blood of Christ, leads us to focus on a relationship that asks us to look beyond the appearance of things to their eternal nature and reality. It reminds us that we are called to covenant and that we will find the full and true meaning of our lives in covenant. The Body and Blood of Christ is the sacrifice of the New Covenant, sealed in the Blood of Christ, that sanctifies us, gives our lives form and meaning and points us toward our eternal destiny of life in God’s kingdom.
To be a “covenant people” we must form a “culture of commitment” and truly commit ourselves to a life in God. God has created us in love and for love. The love that is revealed in God is a covenantal love that is more than a passing feeling or an experimental reality. God commits his life and self to us as a people and he asks of us that same commitment. We are called upon to commit our entire lives to our relationship with God and allow that relationship to permeate our entire life and being. Our relationship with God must be our life and we are called to give ourselves entirely, body, soul, heart, mind and spirit to this relationship. To say that we love God means living that love every moment of our life and in every aspect of our lives.
In the reading from the Book of Exodus (Ex 24,3-8) we see the form of the covenant that God makes with his people as we hear: “Taking the book of the covenant, he (Moses) read it aloud to the people, who answered, “All that the LORD has said, we will heed and do.” Then he took the blood and sprinkled it on the people, saying, “This is the blood of the covenant that the LORD has made with you in accordance with all these words of his.” Blood is a sign of life. The blood that is sprinkled on the people is a sign of the life that God will share with his people and is a reminder that we are also committed in this covenant of love to give our life blood entirely to God. To eat the sacrifice that is offered on the altar is to share in the divine life of God and make of our lives an everlasting sacrifice to God and to his law of love.
In the gospel of Mark (Mk 14,22-26) we see Jesus offering his Body and Blood as a sign of the New Covenant that God makes with us as the people of the new covenant. We read in Mark, “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.” Our sharing in the Body and Blood of Christ is a commitment to living our life in Christ and according to his new law of love. Our lives are called to become a continual and eternal sign of God’s love lived in holiness and obedience to God’s law in Christ.
The Eucharist is an eternal sacrifice of love that forms a new covenant in the Body and Blood of Christ. The Body and Blood of Christ that we celebrate on this feast of Corpus Christi should remind us that we have made a life commitment to God in Christ and we are called to live it out through a life in his Holy Spirit of love. The Body and Blood of Christ is the center of a true “culture of commitment” that gives our lives an eternal meaning and purpose in which we make the very same commitment that was made by the people of Israel in proclaiming, “All that the Lord has said we will heed and do.”