Monday, June 27, 2011

The Feast of Corpus Christi

My favorite feast!!!!!!!!!!

Yesterday we celebrated The Feast of Corpus Christi, the Body and Blood of Christ. This feast day goes back to the 13th century, but it celebrates something far older: the institution of the Sacrament of Holy Communion at the Last Supper.

Every week in our bulletin we have a section titled "Catholic Faith Facts" by Father Eric Underwood, where he answers questions asked by parishioners. This was in the bulletin yesterday and I think he did such a great job explaining what we as Catholics believe.

Q: In John 6, Jesus says that His flesh is real food and his blood is real drink. Why is it that some Christians think Jesus is speaking figuratively and not about the real-presence in the Eucharist?

A:  As Catholics, we find it challenging to comprehend how someone could not believe in the real presence of Jesus in the Eucharist. After all, Jesus said it himself: "This is my body. This is my blood." He continued to say that "unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man... you will not have life in you." It would seem obvious, therefore, that Jesus meant what he said. In order to best understand our faith, we need to turn prayerfully to the Sacred Scriptures and contemplate Matthew 26, Mark 14, Luke 22, and John 6. In prayer, we come to understand that:

1.) The Jews took Jesus as speaking literally,
2.) His disciples took him literally, and
3.) The Apostles took him literally.

If those who heard him 2000 years ago took him literally, they why doesn't everyone do so today? The answer is complex, but is likely because it is more challenging than ever to hear Jesus. Because of the noise in our lives and our selfreliance, it is more difficult than ever to hear Jesus revealing his truth to us. This is precisely why we need to embrace the quiet, ponder these chapters in the Bible, and open our hearts to Jesus in the Eucharist. Jesus said: "This is my body, this is my blood." He also said that the Eucharist is "real food." May we fully embrace Jesus' great gift of himself to us!


I think the key point is: After all, Jesus said it himself: "This is my body. This is my blood."

If people believe everything else that Jesus said why do people not believe this statement?

The feast of Corpus Christi is one time when our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament is exposed not just to faithful Catholics but to all the world. This is a time when Catholics can show their love for Christ in the Real Presence by honoring Him in a very public way. It is also a wonderful way in which we can show our love for our neighbors by bringing Our Lord and Savior closer to them. So many conversions are a result of Eucharistic Adoration experienced from inside the Church. How many more there would be if we could reach those who only drive by the church in worldly pursuits.

Here are some photos of different outside processions:

And then my friend Von shared this video with me. It's a long video but worth the time. I hope that you will be able to watch all of it. But if you can't, I hope whatever portion you can watch will make you think about the gift that we have been given in the Eucharist. I love it because when the people passing by realize what they are seeing, many of them kneel down before our Lord. Some don't recognize Him and pass on by, but you never know what miracles He is performing at that moment. Maybe He will bring a non-believer or someone who as left the Church, back to Him. You never know. He can do all things.

Technically, this doesn’t quite qualify as a flash mob, but I love it nonetheless. The video features two Capuchin Franciscan friars who bring the body of Jesus Christ in the Eucharist right into the center of Preston, England’s marketplace. While one friar recites a litany of Christ’s titles, the other friar holds up Christ in the monstrance. The monk who is speaking into the amplifier repeatedly says, “Come and kneel before Him now,” and it’s truly beautiful to see people in the midst of their shopping, stopping to kneel before the Lord. Others laugh, while still others stand with puzzled looks on their faces.

It’s an appropriate video before the Feast of Corpus Christi, a feast upon which many parish priests still lead public Eucharistic processions. We desperately need to bring Christ back out into the streets and the marketplaces and the public square.

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