Sunday Gospel Reflection
Solemnity of Corpus Christi
Luke 9:11b-17 | June 19, 2022
JM Nuqui, Campus Minister
If you are a very outgoing and people-oriented person like me, I’m sure the first months or first year into the pandemic—with all its lockdown and quarantine classifications—felt like a prison cell. The restlessness was overwhelming. Gustong lumabas, makipagkita, at kumain kasama ang mga kaibigan at pamilya, pero hindi magawa. Living through the pandemic, we learned to be virtually together. Online reunions. Virtual Christmas parties. E-numans. But despite these efforts, they still fell short of the desire and longing we felt within. Parang may kulang pa rin. Parang hindi buo. That’s why as the situation slowly lightens, and everything seems to go back to the way it was before, quickly we schedule face-to-face mini reunions, gatherings, and meet-ups. It’s such music to our ears to hear once again the words, “tara, kain,” “tara, samgyup,” “tara, kape?”
My dear brothers and sisters, today we celebrate the Solemnity of Corpus Christi. This great feast reminds us of God’s desire to be fully present in our lives. Because of a love so great, God was incarnate in the person of Jesus. God could’ve remained faceless, spiritual, and unseen just as how the Old Testament experienced Him. Pwede namang nanatiling sa “cloud” na lang ang pakikitungo ng Diyos sa atin. Sapat na ba iyon? Probably. But God met us where we are. In the person and body of Jesus, tinagpo tayo ng Diyos. In our celebration of the Eucharist every day, patuloy tayong tinatagpo ng Diyos. Jesus’ real and physical presence in the bread and wine show God’s deep and palpable desire to be with us. Face-to-face. Tangible. Real. Physical. Fully present.
In one of my contemplations of the Last Supper, I imagined Jesus asking the disciples, “Tara, dinner?” Siguro ilang oras bago ang kanyang pasakit at kamatayan, si Hesus ay natakot at nangamba. And doesn’t this remind us of our own experiences? Whenever we are broken, anxious, or scared, we usually invite our closest friends over food, coffee, or perhaps over a few drinks. At sa huling hapunan ni Hesus kasama ang mga alagad, sila ay nagbahaginan at bumabad sa piling ng bawat isa. To be fully present is to give everything of oneself. When Jesus said, “this is my body and blood given for you,” He was also saying, “lahat ibibigay ko para sa inyo.” At hindi ba malapit ito sa karanasan natin: katawan at dugo, pawis at luha, puso at kaluluwa, lahat ibibigay, oras at pagkakataon, para sa mga taong minamahal natin. Fully present. Whole-heartedly.
My dear brothers and sisters, there’s something deeper about those pagyayaya. Yes, we really do go because of the food or coffee. But if we’ll be honest to ourselves, bakit nga ba natin niyayaya ng kape o kain yung ating mga kaibigan? O di kaya bakit no matter how busy we are, no matter how our backlogs in school or office work continue to pile up, and even in times when we are short of our budget, kapag may kaibigang nagyaya, we just find ourselves dropping everything and going? Kaladkarin yarn? But, kidding aside, is it not because of our desire for presence—an intimate, bodily, and real presence? Sa mga panahon ng tagumpay at kagalakan, kabiguan at kalungkutan, o di kaya sa mga ordinaryong kaganapan ng buhay, gusto natin ng may kasama—yung masasandalan, maiiyakan, mayayakap, mahahawakan.
At ito ang biyayang hatid ng banal na katawan at dugo ni Hesus. In the celebration of the Holy Eucharist, God does not only speak to us. He touches and embraces us, feels with us, and holds us dearly and closely in His heart. Hopefully, just as how God is physically and fully present in our lives, may we be also fully present to one another—sa ating pakikinig, pagdamay, pananatili, at patuloy na pagbibigay ng buong sarili. And sometimes, living out this mission simply begins with “tara, dinner,” “tara, kain,” “tara, samgyup,” “tara, kape?”