Solemnity of the Body and Blood of Christ

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“Corpus Christi” Bulletin cover for June 18. Painting by: Ronald Raab, CSC

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Dear Believers in Christ Jesus,

Today we celebrate a feast that focuses on what we do as Christians every day, the belief in the Eucharist. This feast becomes a treasured moment when we truly reflect on Christ’s real and continuing presence among us. We are not alone in our faith, but sustained in the reality of Christ’s presence in His Body and Blood.

The gospel today, John 6:51-58, offers us the invitation to follow Jesus, not only on earth, but also toward the gift of eternal life. We are bonded in Jesus’ life through the celebration of the Eucharist. We shall be united with Christ for all eternity as we remember him on earth.

This feast now culminates the series of celebrations before we enter into Ordinary Time. Pentecost, The Trinity and Corpus Christi all remind us of our renewed faith in Lent and Easter. Today, we are aware that we belong to Christ, our true identity.

We celebrate the Eucharist daily as a reminder of our connection to Jesus’ passion, death and resurrection. This is the core of our faith. The Eucharist feeds us in our weariness, in our hunger for justice, hope and security in the world. The Eucharist changes our hearts and attitudes, our perspectives and our identities. We are loved and the depth of that love takes us a lifetime to ponder and to live in our world.

The Eucharist brings to humanity much mystery. The mystery is God’s enduring love for his people. We worship God in the Eucharist. However, we also break open the hardships, misfortunes and apathy that we experience living here on earth. Why is humanity so important within the Eucharist? This is where the mystery lies. God’s unique love for us must be given a home, a resting place within the human soul. We cannot believe in God in the abstract. We must be able to find God’s love in human transformation.

When we discard human need of the Eucharist, we disembody God’s love. We are to become what we eat. We are to live in our world in fidelity and trust. We must find the mystery within our human hunger and discover God who feeds us. We must scrape injustice from our world and let God into all human suffering. The Body of Christ is not a static notion and not just a host we adore, but the reality that we are called to bring such love in our world and relationships.

Today, many people of our young generation do not believe in the Real Presence of Christ. Some have a difficulty because they do not see us older folks believing and living out such a reality in the world. We must practice what we preach, believe what we profess and live what we celebrate. The Eucharist is grounded in deep human need and longing. This is where the mystery lives.

How can you pray in your personal prayer the deep meaning of the Eucharist? What does it mean for you to live the Eucharist in the world?

Blessings in the Body of Christ,

Fr. Ron

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