「我的肉是食品 . . . 我的血是飲料」 “My flesh is food . . . my blood is drink”

今天基督聖體聖血節 (Corpus Christi)是慶祝我們教會一個最大的寶藏 — 在聖體聖事內的耶穌體血。在《讀經一》,天主和以色列人以祭獻來訂立的盟約,預像在耶穌基督內,我們與天主所立的盟約;這盟約不是由牛犢的血來訂立,而是以祂自己的寶血來作祭獻。雖然教會在聖週四慶祝聖體聖事的建立,基督聖體聖血節卻是慶祝耶穌真正的臨在於聖體聖事內。 耶穌為自己真實的臨在於聖體聖血內而作證。祂說:「我是生命的食糧 . . . 我是從天上降下的生活的食糧 . . . 是為世界的生命而賜給的 . . . 你們若不吃人子的肉,不喝他的血,在你們內,便沒有生命。誰吃我的肉,並喝我的血,必得永生 . . . 因為我的肉,是真實的食品;我的血,是真實的飲料」 (若 6:48-55)。因此,食耶穌的肉和飲祂的血不僅是隱喻或象徵性,「就如那生活的父派遣了我,我因父而生活;照樣,那吃我的人,也要因我而生活」(若 6:57)。聖體聖事讓我們也可分享聖父與聖子之間所分享的生活,而我們之可以能分享這生活,全因為聖子真的臨在於聖體聖血內。

當耶穌在祂升天前說:「看!我同你們天天在一起,直到今世的終結」,祂答應我們的是祂實在的,雖看不見,卻是繼續的存在 (瑪 28:20)。在教宗聖良一世其中一個關於耶穌升天的講道裏,他解釋說:「我們的救主看得見的存在,已經傳到聖事內。我們的信德更高尚、更堅強,眼見的已被教義所代替,而這教義的權力,藉着從高天而來的啟迪,已被相信的心接受了(Sermo 2 de Ascensione 1-4: PL 54, 397-399 摘要)。那些「有相信的心」的人,相信聖事不單是象徵,而是生活的天主,真實的臨在於我們中間。聖體真的是「基督徒生活的源頭和高峰」(教會憲章11)。「因為在聖體聖事內,是教會整個屬靈的至善,就是基督自己,我們的逾越節」(Presbyterorum Ordinis P5 Pope St Paul VI 1965)。聖體聖事真是一切,因為是耶穌本人真的、實質的存在:身體、血、靈魂和天主性。這是我們生命之糧,往天堂之良藥。

傳統上,慶祝這節日會有朝拜聖體、聖體降福和聖體遊行。這些敬禮,是為表達我們相信我們的主臨在於聖體內。或許今天的節日不單是慶祝上主給我們這美妙的禮物,也邀請我們更進一步探索這奧蹟及其中的仁愛。我們有相信的心嗎?我們有沒有渴求生命的食糧?我們是否渴望成為聖體聖事的人,渡聖體聖事的生活, 一種充滿信德、仁愛、服務、虔誠、謙虛, 感恩和敬畏的生活? Today’s feast of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ (Corpus Christi) celebrates our Church’s greatest treasure - the Most Blessed Sacrament of the Eucharist. In the First Reading, the ratification of the covenant between God and the Israelites by a sacrifice prefigures our covenant with God in Jesus Christ; a covenant not sealed with the blood of bulls but with the sacrifice of His own precious blood. And though the institution of the Holy Eucharist is celebrated on Holy Thursday, the feast of Corpus Christi celebrates the real presence of Jesus in the Eucharist.

Jesus bears witness to His real presence in the Eucharist when He says “I am the bread of life . . . I am the living bread that has come down from heaven . . . and the bread that I will give is my flesh for the life of the world . . . unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you shall not have life in you. He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood has life everlasting . . . for my flesh is food indeed and my blood is drink indeed” (Jn 6:48-55). Hence, to eat Jesus' flesh and drink His blood is not simply metaphorical or symbolic, “As the living Father has sent me, and as I live because of the Father so he who eats me, he also shall live because of me” (Jn 6:58). The Eucharist gives us a share in that life which the Father shares with the Son, and it is only possible when the Son is truly present in the Eucharist.

When Jesus says before His ascension, “behold, I am with you always, until the end of the age”, He is promising His real, though invisible, continuous presence (Mt 28:20). In one of his sermons on the Ascension, Pope St. Leo the Great explains, “And so our Redeemer’s visible presence has passed into the sacraments. Our faith is nobler and stronger because sight has been replaced by a doctrine whose authority is accepted by believing hearts, enlightened from on high” (excerpt from Sermo 2 de Ascensione 1-4: PL 54, 397-399). Those with “believing hearts” believe the sacraments are not mere symbols but the reality of God’s living presence among us. The Eucharist is truly “the source and summit of the Christian life” (Lumen Gentium P 11), “for in the Blessed Eucharist is contained the whole spiritual good of the Church, namely Christ himself, our Pasch” (Presbyterorum Ordinis P5 Pope St Paul VI 1965). The Eucharist is truly everything because it is Jesus Himself really and substantially present: body, blood, soul and divinity. It is the food for our journey through life, a medicine to heaven.

Traditionally where this Feast is celebrated, there will be exposition, adoration, benediction and procession of the Blessed Sacrament. These devotions are expressions of our living faith in the Eucharistic presence of our Lord. Perhaps today’s feast not only celebrates this wonderful gift that the Lord gives us, but also invites us to go deeper into its mystery and its underlying love. Do we have believing hearts? Do we hunger for the Bread of Life? Are we eager to become the Eucharistic People by leading a Eucharistic life, a life of faith, love, service, piety, humility, gratitude and reverence?

 





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