Sunday, June 14, 2020

Corpus Christi

Today is the feast of Corpus Christi! The Body and Blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ. As our pastor gave the homily at mass he said “This teaching, is why I became catholic. I was raised Baptist and we didn’t focus on John chapter 6. Because once you really read John 6. You can never go back.” And I am reminded of a girl who’s faith in the Eucharist was challenged by a certain Baptist young man in my young adulthood. After he repeatedly asked me “How do you know it’s true?!” I, with very little apologetic training, answered in exasperation “I’ve never doubted it. I’ve just always known it was Jesus.” But that wasn’t entirely true. I had a mother who took me to “visit Jesus” in the tabernacle at church often where the Eucharist was kept. She gave me a true devotion and reverence for the Holy Eucharist, and by her example, my faith, gifted to me at Baptism, was nurtured. The same Jesus I learned to speak to in my heart, and read about in Holy Scripture, made me aware of His presence keenly many times, when He came to me in Holy Communion. So that young Baptist man, went and read and meditated on, John 6. And he too, couldn’t turn back. There is no suggestion anywhere in Jesus’ Bread of Life discourse that He meant it to be a symbol. As a matter of fact, when His listeners were disturbed at the idea of eating His flesh, and some of them left, He didn’t change His position but turned to His disciples and said “Will you leave me too?” After looking at the scriptures in a new light, and much prayer, that young Baptist man came into the Catholic Church and received Our Lord in Holy Communion for the first time. He is now such a guardian of the sacredness of Our Lord, that both I and my children have seen him after having witnessed the host or Precious Blood accidentally being spilled at mass which sometimes happens, in haste going to make certain Our Lord is reverenced in the manner He should be and not stepped on. There are many stories of holy men and women who defended the Blessed Sacrament. In the early church, the 3rd Century, St. Tarcisius was a young boy entrusted with the duty of carrying holy communion secretly to the Christian prisoners soon to be martyred, during the reign of Valerian. On his way he was stopped by a group of non-Christian boys wanting to see what he was carrying. When he refused to expose our Lord, he was trampled and died soon after. A young Chinese girl during the Nazi rule, crawled on her hands and knees every night past guards to adore and consume as many hosts as possible which they had intentionally strewn all over the floor in desecration, at the local parish.
One has to wonder, why would anyone risk their life for a piece of bread?

Unless it is more than that.

“Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity”

That is what we believe.

Is it impossible to imagine that God would love us that much? To humble Himself and become literal food for us? So as to “be with us even to the end of time” and give us life?

“Jesus said to them, “Amen, amen, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you do not have life within you. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him on the last day.” John 6:53-54

Post a Comment