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Solemn Feast of Corpus Christi

One highlight of every Mass is Holy Communion.  It is almost instinctive that we line up for communion.  Those with sensitive spirits look into their hearts to decide whether they are worthy to receive Jesus.  Others though seem to care less, just following the crowd or repeating the gesture routinely.

There is always something attractive and mystifying about Communion.  If we are filled with faith, we know that this bread is no ordinary food.  This bread has been proclaimed by Jesus, “my body” in the same way that the wine has been pronounced by him, through the priest, “my blood.”  Catholics believe this strongly, and so at Mass seek to be nourished by both the Word of God and the Body and Blood of Christ.
This is also what the gospel today tells us.  Jesus wants to be remembered through the one celebration he himself requires done his honor, “do this in memory of me.” How truly blessed we are that we are in contact with a God who is not invisible, abstract and distant.  Here is our God who comes to us so concretely and intimately that he gives us his very self as our spiritual food.
We have this faith mentioned in Scriptures and attested by the history and practice of the church from its beginning.  But is the Eucharist only about receiving the Body of the Lord?  Is it also just about visiting the Blessed Sacrament in our adoration chapel?  There is much more to Communion than just the act of eating and partaking of the Bread of Angels or of kneeling before It.
First, let us remember that to receive the Body of Christ is to be convinced that we are renewed by what we receive. As the second reading from Hebrews tells us, Jesus’ sacrifice cleanses our consciences, our souls.  He changes our lives.
But then do we see this change happening in us?  After Communion, do we consciously believe that we are transformed and thus empowered to continue living a new life?  Consider your daily actions, thoughts and words.  Are they really affected by this encounter with the Body of Christ you receive?
Second, we need to remember that to receive Christ’s Body is to begin to see Him in others.  If you can perceive him in the lowly form of bread, how much more must you see him in the lofty nature of your brothers and sisters.  The early Christians knew that to receive Communion was to live a life of service.  Mother Teresa told her sisters to touch with care the Body of Christ and to touch with the same sensitive love the broken body of the poor and suffering.
Again, how successful are we in living this out?  Many times, we receive Communion and yet we are so distant from each other. We hurt each other in many ways. We fail to acknowledge God present in the people we do not like.
On this solemn feast of the Body and Blood of Christ let us beg for the grace to live renewed lives as Christ enters our hearts and to offer our lives in acts of love and service to the people who need our compassion and understanding.