CORPUS CHRISTI Year C
Take and Eat
People arrive at church on Sunday with different hopes and expectations. Most people in receiving the body and blood of the Lord hope to get closer to God and to have God’s favour and blessing for the week ahead. Some may be hoping for inner healing from depression, hurt, anger, jealousy….. Others may want to pray for a favourable medical diagnosis for themselves or for others, for healing after surgery, for healing from addiction, for domestic peace. Most people going to Holy Communion are shouldering heavy burdens and need God’s help. The church, says Pope Francis, is like a field hospital where wounds are tended to and health is restored. People find healing and restoration where Mass is celebrated in a warm and welcoming environment, with user-friendly music, relevant and helpful preaching, and within a relaxed and prayerful atmosphere.
Long ago, the feast of Corpus Christi was marked by an outdoor procession of the Blessed Sacrament and often accompanied by forty hours’ adoration. Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament is still widely practised and encouraged by church leadership, though some theologians feel it takes the emphasis off the central fact that the Eucharist is a sacred meal. “Perhaps they could assuage their theological unease by seeing the monstrance as a focusing mandala that both encases and exposes the Eucharistic Jesus as the Cosmic Christ who brings us into communion with all of humanity and all of creation” – Donal Dorr, A CREED FOR TODAY, 121.
For the first followers of Jesus, the Body of Christ was the Christian community. “Where two or three meet in my name, I shall be with them” – Matt 18: 20. The Eucharist offers us the opportunity to commune with God, with each other and with ourselves. Ron Rolheiser reminds us that receiving Holy Communion is meant to form us into one mystical body in a way that takes us beyond differences and divisions of personality, ideology, ethnicity, social status and so on. The Eucharist leads us into the realm and reality of Augustine’s understanding: “One Christ loving Himself” – cf. Aug, Hom 10 on 1 John. We are dealing here with a great mystery the celebration of which, Vatican 11 teaches, is the source and summit of the whole Christian life.
Jose Pagola urges us to listen to today’s gospel with an attitude of wanting to think, feel, love and live like Jesus. Most of those who followed Jesus would have been subsistence-level people and living from day to day. Jesus gave them more than fast food; he offered them hope and healing and the Good News of the reign of God. “The deeper hungers can take longer, especially in our culture of distraction where there is so little room for reflection and real conversation” writes Kieran O’Mahony. When people come to us looking for the bread of compassion, we need to give them more than the stone of advice. They need the bread of welcome and understanding. Jesus understood that.
Fr. QQ – 06/15/2022
The Eucharist is what is most real in the world – Francois Mauriac