Jesus said, “Eat my body”. Many heard it and couldn’t take the idea of eating a man’s body. They were the people who were looking for Goosebumps. They wanted Jesus to heal them. They wanted Jesus to walk on the water. They wanted Jesus to feed five thousand men with five loaves of bread. They loved to see Jesus raise the dead from their tombs. They hoped Jesus would take political power and inherit the throne of David. They could only see what Jesus could do for them in this world. They hated suffering. They hated the cross. They hated sacrifice. They hated the death of self. They envisioned a sugar-coated Jesus who provided them with material pleasures. Jesus’ call is radical. When he tells us to eat his body, many will depart. This is the acid test to spiritual progress.
We do the same today. We like miracles. We like healing services. We like prophetic visions. We like speaking in tongues. We like the attention of people. We love money, prestige and power. We love the power but not the pain. We love to converse with Moses and Elijah on mount Tabor, but hate to be at the foot of our crosses on Calvary. Jesus is asking us today, “Are you prepared to eat the flesh of the Son of man and drink his blood?”
Jesus instituted the Eucharist and said, “This is my body” and told us to do it in remembrance of him. In the Holy Mass, eternity meets time. Jesus comes down and offers his heart for us to eat and blood for us to drink. We have to be worthy to receive him by confessing our sins. Who can ascend the hill of the Lord? In the hill of the Lord, no man can see his face and live. In the hill of the Lord our ‘self ’will die. We can see him only if we are determined to kill our sins and egotism.
Mass is sacrifice. Love is sacrifice. Sacrifice involves giving up one’s life for love. In the Mass we bring our sacrifices, our pains, our hurts, our joys and our tithes. We give ourselves to Christ and Christ gives himself to us. He will dwell in us and we will dwell in him. It is the ultimate union of love – the love between the creator and his creature. It is a two-sided self-immolation. I sacrifice all that I am, all that I was, and all that I ever will be on the altar of love. Jesus sacrifices his body and blood in return. His body and blood will come inside me and he will dwell with in me.
Heaven rejoices in the Mass. Legions of angels will shout ‘holy, holy, holy’. Saints will kneel in adoration before the crucifix. We are privileged to carry his cross to Golgotha with him. Mass is nothing but heaven on earth.