Sunday, June 6, 2010

Corpus Christi: The Feast Of Christ's Unfathomable Love



This feast which celebrates the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Our Lord present in the Eucharist is one that allows us to reflect on that holy and divine Presence within each of us. The late pastor of my parish would often say, "This side of heaven, Jesus doesn't get any closer than this."
As baptized Christians, Jesus lives within each of us, but that life needs to be nourished. Personally I have found no better way than through receiving Christ in Holy Communion and in spending time before Him in the Blessed Sacrament. Jesus loves us so much that He wished to remain with us even after His Ascension. I am sure He could have chosen any number of ways, but He chose the Eucharist in which to feed us with His own Body and Blood.
The history of the feast of Corpus Christi goes back to the year 1264 when Pope Urban IV instituted it for the entire Church. The Pope wanted the feast to be joy-filled with hymns and procession. Pope Urban asked Thomas Aquinas to write two Offices of prayer; Aquinas did this as well as write five hymns, many of which are used during Benediction to this day.
St Thomas noted that: "Material food first of all turns itself into the person who eats it, and as a consequence, restores his losses and increases his vital energies. Spiritual food, on the other hand, turns the person who eats it into Itself, and thus the proper effect of this sacrament is the conversion of man into Christ, so that he may no longer live for himself, but that Christ may live in Him. And as a consequence it has the double effect of restoring the spiritual losses caused by sins and defects and of increasing the power of the virtues". 
In other words, may we become what we consume.
Much of the world celebrated this feast on the traditional Thursday (June 3). In the United States it is celebrated on the Sunday following Trinity Sunday. 
My own parish had stopped the Eucharistic Procession for some reason about two years ago, but is resuming this beautiful ancient custom this Sunday. I am looking forward to participating and bringing Christ to the streets, not only in this procession, but also in the way He lives in me.
As Deacon Keith Fournier wrote in his reflection for this feast,  "On this Feast of Corpus Christi, as we march through the Streets of the world lifting Jesus Christ enthroned, let us say"Yes" to the invitation to become "living monstrances". Let the consuming fire of God's love purify us so that we can now be used to reveal His presence to a world waiting to be born anew."
God the Father loved us so much that He gave us His Son, the Son loves us so much He wants to remain with us and make us more like Him, the fire of the Holy Spirit is the expression of that love between the Father and the Son and it is enkindled in each of us if we let it.
May we continue to nourish Christ's life within ourselves and return the love He has shown us by receiving Him and visiting Him often.






Note: Deacon Fournier's reflection: Corpus Christi, Body and Blood of Christ. We Are Living Monstrances is worth reading in its entirety.  I have quoted only a small bit if it in this post.

12 comments:

Victor S E Moubarak said...

Thank you Karinann for this thought-provoking post.

God bless.

Michael said...

The Eucharist is such a moving gift that I find it almost impossible to capture in words. You have done a wonderful job here, though.

"We become what we consume" ... very thought provoking.

God Bless!

ocd sister said...

Very beautiful. God reward you!

Deanna said...

God Bless you and may you have a sweet week, Karinann!

Praising God that we have the Holy Ghost/Spirit within us to guide and direct us when Jesus is our Saviour. Hallelujah...What an awesome baptism that all Christians can have.

d from homehaven

Karinann said...

Thank you all for your comments and thoughts here.
Michael- right after I wrote that line- I saw the same thing written in Deacon Fournier's reflection. I agree the gift of the Eucharist really does go beyond words- I'm glad the Holy Spirit gave me a few to honor Our Lord with today.

Colleen said...

Beautiful reflection. God bless!

Mary333 said...

Great post! Kind of like the expression "you are what you eat" the more we receive the Eucharist the more like Him we become. Amazing, isn't it?

I was sorry to hear that the procession was so poorly attended. I think many Catholics fail to appreciate the immense gift we have been given. The priest was talking about this negligence during our sermon today. I think it bothers committed Catholics since Holy Communion is the "Heart of the Mass". I really cannot understand why so many people doubt the Real Presence. Maybe a few were never taught this truth but most Catholics know the Church teaching on this.

Karinann said...

Thanks, Colleen and Mary.
Mary- I find the fact that so many Catholics doubt the Real Presence literally painful. I realize that my belief and love for the Real Presence is a gift from Him, and my acceptance of the gift a grace. Being taught something is one thing- it is up to them to accept the grace.
I think I may have to write more on this- not judgmentally, just honestly.
Thanks for your thoughts on this.

Mary333 said...

Karin,
It is a grace and I thank the Lord for it also. May God lead people to the truth on this matter. Writing about it is a great idea! We never know who will land on our blogs :) Sometimes I've landed on sites accidentally and found that it was just what I needed at the time.
Even during the years that I wasn't going to church I still believed in the Real Presence. I stopped receiving Communion because of my sins and not long after stopped going to Mass completely (with some exceptions). Confession and Communion are an important part of the Sacramental life. Once those two go many people leave the Church. It happened to my brothers and sisters this way, too. Thankfully, most of them are back at Church. Four down (four up?), one to go (1 brother)!

Karinann said...

Mary, I agree once the sacramental life goes, so does faith. Been there done that as well.I will keep your brother in my prayers.

Mary333 said...

Thanks Karin!

Daily Grace said...

This is a beautiful reflection.

"This side of heaven, Jesus doesn't get any closer than this."
This will always be in my mind..it is so true.

Thank you.

Closing Prayer

Psalm 45: Canticle of Love to the King

My heart overflows with a good theme;
I address my verses to the King;
My tongue is the pen of a ready writer.
You are fairer than the sons of men;
Grace is poured upon Your lips;
Therefore God has blessed You forever.

Gird Your sword on Your thigh, O Mighty One,
In Your splendor and Your majesty!
And in Your majesty ride on victoriously,
For the cause of truth and meekness and righteousness;
Let Your right hand teach You awesome things.
Your arrows are sharp;
The peoples fall under You;
Your arrows are in the heart of the King’s enemies.

Your throne, O God, is forever and ever;
A scepter of uprightness is the scepter of Your kingdom.
You have loved righteousness and hated wickedness;
Therefore God, Your God, has anointed You
With the oil of joy above Your fellows.
All Your garments are fragrant with myrrh and aloes and cassia;
Out of ivory palaces stringed instruments have made You glad.
Kings’ daughters are among Your noble ladies;
At Your right hand stands the queen in gold from Ophir.