By Mary DeTurris Poust
So often, when I go to Mass on the Feast of the Body and Blood of Christ, I am left wanting more, wishing that the celebrant had seized the opportunity to give his captive audience a good dose of Eucharistic inspiration and maybe even a little catechesis at the same time. We need to be reminded of the importance of the Eucharist again and again, and what better day to do it.
Today I wanted to applaud when our pastor gave an educational and inspirational homily about the Eucharist. Although he talked specifically about Eucharist and Scripture and the teachings and history of our faith, he focused on Eucharist as nourishment for the journey, as the spiritual food that has the ability to transform us from the inside out if we but come to the table.
And he stressed that we are all invited to that table, that the Eucharist is not a reward for good behavior but rather a spiritual meal that can strengthen us even when -- or maybe especially when -- our behavior has been less than stellar. He reminded those of us in the pews that we are all part of the Body of Christ, called to carry on Jesus' work, and he posed this question:
I have no doubt that Jesus is present in the Eucharist. Jesus' presence isn't in question. But are WE present?An interesting twist. God is present in the Eucharist to us, but are we present to Him? Do we worship God from afar in the tabernacle but lose site of Him once we get out into the world? Are we truly present when we receive Jesus so that he can work through us to bring about the kingdom here on earth?
I hope you had an inspiring Feast of Corpus Christi. The good news is that we can celebrate this feast every day, at every Mass, wherever the Blessed Sacrament is present.
In the YouTube clip above, you can see Pope Benedict XVI celebrating the Feast of Corpus Christi in Rome, where the usual outdoor procession was canceled due to rain. (It was celebrated in Italy on June 3.) Instead the pope celebrated Mass in the Basilica of St. John Lateran.