Sunday, June 6, 2010

Feast of Corpus Christi

St. Paul's letters are the oldest part of the New Testament and so today's Second Reading (1 Corinthians 11: 23-26) for this feast in honor of the Holy Eucharist is the oldest account of the Last Supper. St. Paul relates, in words that we continue to use at Mass during the Consecration, what Jesus did "on the night he was handed over." He didn't say, "This is a symbol of my body," but "This is my body," and then he told them, "Do this ... in remembrance of me."

I sometimes think about doing a survey after Mass as people leave the church, asking them, "How was Mass today?" And if they say "Good," to ask "Why?" I imagine most people who say that Mass was good would say something about its length (an hour or less), the homily (short and practical and humorous), the music, or the sense of community they felt. I imagine Jesus standing outside of church taking this little survey and asking, "But what about me? Did you remember me? I told you to do this in remembrance of me."

Today's feast began in the Thirteenth Century to foster the faith of people in the presence of Jesus at Mass and in the Blessed Sacrament. It's a presence that continues to be ignored or forgotten. No Catholic who recognizes this presence would leave the Church in search of better preaching, better music, and a greater sense of community. Jesus is "the real deal" and He's there at Mass and in the Blessed Sacrament "body and blood, soul and divinity." Why settle for less? And why not grab every opportunity you can to be united to Him in Holy Communion?

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