Sunday, May 25, 2008

Corpus Christi

LAST NIGHT AT VIGIL MASS, Father Hanley, our Parochial Vicar, spoke about Our Lord's words in the Gospel of John, chapter six. He told us that Jesus instituted the Sacrament of the Mass for (at least) three reasons, and there are two responses we can make that will help us draw ever closer to Our Lord.

(1) Jesus instituted the Blessed Sacrament so that we can always find Him. He is in every Catholic Church in the Reserved Sacrament. (2) He took on flesh because God saw all that he made and "it was good." We aren't bodiless spirits; we are body and soul. The "Word became flesh" (Jn 1,14) to redeem us fully, completely, as God intended. And (3) He wants to be as near to us as possible - body, blood, soul, and divinity. When we love, that is how we are: we want to be close. We can be no closer to Him than in this Blessed Sacrament; at least on this side of death.

We can always make a mental and physical gesture when we drive by a Catholic Church: doffing our hat, bowing our head, crossing ourself, saying, "Hello, Lord. Thank You for your eternal Sacrifice," or other such words. Then, the night prior to receiving the Holy Eucharist, we can pray, "Lord, tomorrow I will be with You, receive you - body, blood, soul, and divinity. Please prepare me, and make me an instrument of our grace in our world."

The Real Presence of Our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament is a primary reason I entered into full communion with the Catholic Church. Bless the Lord for this holy Mystery.

+ + +
Go to the encounter with him in the Blessed Eucharist, go to adore him in the churches, kneeling before the Tabernacle: Jesus will fill you with his love and will reveal to you the thoughts of his Heart. If you listen to him, you will feel ever more deeply the joy of belonging to his Mystical Body, the Church, which is the family of his disciples held close by the bond of unity and love.
- Pope Benedict, Message to Dutch Youth

"It is existentially impossible to despair in the presence of Jesus."
- Edward Schillebeeckx, as quoted by Gil Bailie

No comments: