June 22, 2014 - Solemnity of Corpus Christi, Year A
Saint Martin de Tours Catholic Church
In our not too distant past the focus of this feast of Corpus Christi was celebrated with Eucharistic processions, and Benediction and public displays of reverence.
In recent times there has been a decline in such practices.
And many people feel that this is the result of our secular lifestyles. Maybe that’s true.
But there may be another reason too. Today we focus more on the real presence of Jesus in the congregation, Corpus Christi, the Body of Christ.
Referring not only to the consecrated bread and wine,
but to the whole people of God, the Church, the community of faith. We are the Body of Christ.
The reason that Jesus gives his body in the Eucharist is so that we might become the Body of Christ in our world.
There was an Archbishop in Portland. He was a very good and holy Archbishop.
There was a particular Catholic High School in his Archdiocese that he was very fond of.
The students considered him to be their Archbishop. He would often celebrate mass for them and they loved him.
When the Archbishop became sick he needed many blood transfusions to save his life. His students came to his rescue.
Those who were old enough donated blood themselves, and the others rounded up parents, relatives and friends.
After receiving much of that blood, the Archbishop was well enough to say mass for his students.
He said to them, “Today you have given me a new understanding of the Eucharist. Though I have spoken about the Eucharist all my life but your act of kindness has been the most valuable lesson I have learned.
“Today I stand here with you because I have your blood running through my veins.
“And so now I understand in a new way what Jesus meant when he said, ‘This is my body given for you. This is my blood poured out for you.’”
His students had given their blood for his life. And they learned that as Jesus nourishes us with his body and blood in the Eucharist, we are called to nourish one another with our body and blood.
By assembling here we have placed ourselves at the service of Jesus that he might, by his very presence, bend our lives and our talents into the service of the Kingdom of God.
Because the loaf we share is one bread and the cup we share is one cup, we form one body, Corpus Christi, the Body of Christ.
We still have Eucharistic processions because they are a part of our rich Catholic heritage.
We are having one here in Saint Martinville this (Sunday) afternoon at 3 PM beginning at the Chapel of Our Lady of Sorrows at the Community of Jesus Crucified.
Those who cannot be part of the procession are invited to be here at the same time for a holy hour. See the bulletin for more information.
Even if you are not going to be part of that Eucharistic procession, there is going to be another Eucharistic procession today.
It will include all of us, as we make our way out into the world, carrying within us the real presence of Jesus Christ.