Sunday, June 10, 2007

Corpus Christi: Reflections on The Feast of the Body and Blood of Christ

Every liturgical celebration, because it is an action of Christ the priest and of his Body which is the Church, is a sacred action surpassing all others.
"Sacrosanctum Concilium" quoted in the Catechism of the Catholic Church 1070

Jesus said, Amen, Amen, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you do not have life within you.’”
John 6:53

While I am fortunate on this great feast to be able to profess that I belong to a parish (Visitation in Elmhurst, IL) that is also celebrating today ten years of Perpetual Eucharistic Adoration (that's 87,600 hours of Adoration not even counting all the non-registered worshippers!) I must also say with sorrow that I know many Catholics here and everywhere who receive [Him] but do not believe [in His Real Presence], many Christians who have heard The Word but have not eaten His Flesh and thus do not know Him, and many who have never known His Name and have only felt his life reflected in the occasional passing saint. These are my Corpus Christi thoughts on the three groups.

For Catholics, you know the Body and Blood of Christ has given you life if you believe unequivocally in the dogmas and doctrines of the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church. Receiving the Eucharist worthily allows the Holy Spirit to show you HOW and WHY the Church's teachings are true; conversely, receiving the Eucharistic Lord without belief is to eat and drink judgement on yourself (1 Cor. 11:29-32) and THAT judgement is NOT good. Try to receive Him not just on Sunday, but during the week and even daily, for the more you receive Him with an open mind, the more his law will be written on your heart.

Protestants and Evangelicals: you long for a personal encounter with the Risen Lord, just as the disciples did on the Road to Emmaus (Luke 24:13-35). Still although they met, walked and talked with Christ, "Bible Studying" every scripture that pertained to his Resurrection, they did not know Him until they partook in the Breaking of the Bread. Thus, your faith will always be two dimensional until it is sacramental, and "The Word" will not become "Flesh" (John 1:14) until you are a full member of His Church and are able to eat His Body and drink His Blood. So come Home! Jesus is waiting for you!

For those who have never really heard, the story of a "God who so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believed in Him might not perish but gain everlasting life (John 3:16) it must sound so utterly fantastic that it couldn't possibly be true ... but what if it was and is? Thus, the great mathematician Blaise Pascal came up with his famous wager—try living Christianity for a year, and after that, if you still don't believe, go back to your old ways. For what have you got to lose? A year of your life, where you have treated people kindly, as you would like to be treated yourself. But, to gain—a God/Man who loves you unconditionally, plus the most loyal friends (both here and "there") a man could ever have. Not to mention eternal life ...

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