Dear Parish Family,
In my homily last week, I said that Christ would never leave us, His disciples, alone. He is, as the Scriptures state, with us forever, until the close of the age. One way He is truly with us is His presence Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity in the Holy Eucharist.
Today is the Feast of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ — Corpus Christi — and on this solemnity we remember in a very special way the institution of the Holy Eucharist by Christ at the Last Supper. This day, traditionally celebrated on the Thursday following Trinity Sunday and one of the ten traditional Holy Days of Obligation but observed on Sunday in the United States and in some other territories around the world, calls to our mind Christ gathering with His apostles in the upper room where, as today’s Gospel recounts, “He took bread, said the blessing, broke it, gave it to them, and said, ‘Take it; this is my body.’ Then he took a cup, gave thanks, and gave it to them, and they all drank from it. He said to them, ‘This is my blood of the covenant, which will be shed for many. Amen, I say to you, I shall not drink again the fruit of the vine until the day when I drink it new in the kingdom of God.’”
As Catholics, we take very seriously Christ’s words; when Our Lord says of the Eucharist this is My body and, again, this is My blood we do not believe anything other than exactly what Christ told us: The Eucharist is His body and blood.
Recall that Christ had told his disciples previous to this institution of the Holy Eucharist that unless they ate His flesh and drank His blood, they would have no life in them. Many were repulsed by such an idea and left Him; He did not go after them to assure them that He was speaking symbolically. He let them go.
There is no doubt that this can be for some a challenging tenet of the faith, especially in today’s skeptical world where the miraculous is so quickly dismissed out of hand. Still, it is central to our faith. Vatican II calls the Holy Eucharist the source and summit of the Christian Life.
Without Christ present to us, we would be in a sad state indeed. Our Lord is truly present to us Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity in the Holy Eucharist, which nourishes us and sustains us and gives us strength for our journey toward Christ.