A Reflection on the Eucharist for Corpus Christi
On Sunday we celebrate the Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ, also commonly referred to as Corpus Christi. Although this feast didn’t gain a place in the liturgical calendar until the Middle Ages, it commemorates what is perhaps the most fundamental aspect of our Catholic faith--the true presence of Jesus in the Eucharist.
During the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, Jesus transforms our human gifts of bread and wine into himself-- body, blood, soul, and divinity. To someone who has never been exposed to the Catholic faith, it might sound like a radical claim. And it is. But it’s not merely a claim; it’s the glorious truth. And yet, sometimes I find myself struggling to keep my eyes open while praying in front of the Blessed Sacrament. Sometimes I receive communion and before I’ve even finished making the sign of the cross, my mind has wandered to the day ahead. If it’s true that the God who created the universe offers himself to me in a piece of bread, how can my response be anything other than fall-on-the-floor adoration?
Simply put, it’s because I’m human. We all are, and that means that while we’re here on earth, none of us will ever be able to fully comprehend the miracle of the Eucharist. So I’m thankful that the Church offers us this day of observance because it affords us the opportunity to rekindle our wonder and increase our reverence for the Eucharist.
Before you go to Mass on Sunday, I encourage you to meditate on the readings, which speak about both the Old covenant and the New, contrasting the blood of animal sacrifices with the Blood of Christ. The Lauda Sion, a sequence written by St. Thomas Aquinas for the Feast of Corpus Christi, is also often read at this Mass. The poetic verses capture a glimmer of the beauty found in the Eucharist, and provide another helpful source of meditation.
I pray that this Sunday you would fall in love with Jesus in the Eucharist all over again, and allow yourself to gaze in wonder at the gift he has given us.