This Sunday the 13th of June is the Feast of the Body and Blood of Christ, in the Latin so many of us grew up hearing, Corpus Christi Sunday.
This was a Holy Day like so many other Holy Days, and yet for some reason, it seemed to me to be the Greatest of them all as far as we faithful were concerned. It was also the one Holy Day our Protestant friends didn’t seem to really understand – probably because when they left centuries ago, most decided not to take the Eucharist with them, a fact that has puzzled me all of my life.
Yes, this to me is the big one – the Holy Day that needs to be shouted from the mountaintop as the greatest gift we mortals have ever received. The Body and Blood of Christ.
Now at this point I might be tempted to go into that is the Eucharist that brings us Salvation, that it is the Paschal Sacrifice of Calvary reinstate, both assertions that are rejected by the majority of non-Catholics, but I think we need to remember something with a bit more gratitude.
The fact that Eucharist is the surest way to Salvation is without question – those who receive it regularly and properly are assured of such. (I, like many others, could assert several Biblical references and proofs here, but doing so seems too much like changing the subject – for me it’s not about sola scriptura and I resist boiling it down to such.)But to me it is more than just a tool to assure Salvation – to me it is an act of love.
Christ instituted the Eucharist as a gift to us – of himself. More than just of his sacrifice on the cross, more than just the way to heaven, more than just a means of giving us the Grace we so desperately need in our daily lives, sometimes perhaps without even realizing it. He is giving himself to us because this gift is the ultimate act of love – his body and blood are for us, for our daily spiritual nourishment, he poured himself out for us and continues to do so countless times daily throughout the world, throughout time – for our sake.
Yes, I am a Eucharistic – the person who sees the Eucharist as the core of our belief and it is to it that we must consecrate or give ourselves the reason why is the gift of the Real Presence – pure and simple.
I once heard it said, that if you could tell people that Christ himself was going to appear – personally – at your church on Sunday, and were able to make people truly believe it, then no stadium would be large enough. And yet we have the Lord God Almighty in the tabernacle at all times. We hear people saying that when they get to Heaven they look forward more than anything to meeting God face to face – to me I have no such desires for such are not necessary – I meet God face to face and he lives in me directly everytime I receive the Eucharist. The grace I receive is real, and its reception for me produces a equally real physical reaction of profound peace and warmth.
God’s greatest gift – all I ask is that I receive it as worthily as possible, not for my sake but in Gratitude to him.