We celebrate Corpus Christi Sunday each year to remember why we celebrate the Eucharist. We remember that we really are receiving Jesus. Though he is in the appearance of simple bread and wine, Jesus is substantially present, Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity.
Jesus promised that he would not leave us orphans. This is why he returns to us during each consecration of the bread and wine at each Mass in such an intimate way that as we consume him we are transformed into his Mystical Body. This is why we are encouraged to receive him as often as possible, at least each Sunday. If we truly believe that Jesus is the Christ the Son of the Living God and that he is present here at Mass such that we can receive him into our very being to become one with Him who became one with us, why would we stay away?
Jesus loves us and desires a relationship with us so much so that he makes himself food for us. This wonderful gift of himself is not just for us alone. We are dismissed at the end of Mass to go and announce the Gospel of the Lord, to bring Jesus whom we have received to those who are in need of his love.
We are to carry the light of Jesus into the suffering we are experiencing from the ongoing effects of the pandemic, polarization, and racial unrest in our country. Jesus calls us not to add fuel to the fire of that which seeks to divide and separate us but instead he invites us to provide his healing balm and to be instruments of his peace, that peace that surpasses all understanding to those in our realm of influence.
Jesus, please heal us from our own prejudices, biases, and contributions to divisiveness and give us the courage to stand up to racism in all its forms. Please, help us to experience the fullness of your true presence in the Eucharist on this Solemnity of Corpus Christi so that we can be more open to experience the beauty of the uniqueness and diversity you have given each of us, the dignity you have endowed us with, and regardless of our race, ethnicity, creed, gender, or political party, help us to see others as you see us, as your children made in your image and likeness. Amen.
Photo – July 24, 2013 – Getty Images: “In the Eucharist, he offers himself as spiritual strength so as to help us put into practice his commandment – to love one another as he loved us – building communities that are welcoming and open to the needs of all, especially the most frail, poor and needy people.” – From 2017 Corpus Christi Homily by Pope Francis