Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ (Corpus Christi)

There are a number of thoughts that invite reflection on today’s feast, Corpus Christi, The Body of Christ. First, we are reminded of Jesus’ words to the apostles when speaking of his leaving this world. “Abide in me as I in you.” Then he added: “You are my friends. Abide in my love.” Christ’s hidden presence in the tabernacle is a reassurance that he abides with me inviting me to come before him, to abide with him, so that our friendship can be become more intimate, so that I can say with St. Paul, “It is no longer I who lives, but Christ who lives in me!”

“Take this and eat, all of you … drink this, all of you,” he said at the Last Supper. By inviting me to eat his body and drink his blood, isn’t Christ also inviting me to enter his sacrifice, the offering of his life that he makes to the Father at each mass? “Can you drink this cup?” he asked James and John. “If anyone will come after me, let him take up his cross and follow me.” Doesn’t this mean I must live the reality of Corpus Christi, not just the symbol, not just “going to Communion”?

St. Paul speaks of the Eucharist, the Body of Christ, but shouldn’t what he says be read in the light of his vision of Christ, the head of the Body of which we are members, and of his witnessing the martyrdom of Stephen? How then can I reflect on the meaning of Corpus Christi without thinking of today’s drama in Iraq, Syria, Nigeria? How can I pray before the Eucharistic Christ and be forgetful of the immigrant children on our border and of those who bravely take a stand for dignity of life and the integrity of marriage?

June 22nd, 2014