Corpus Christi in Jubilee Year (June 22, 2014)
This morning we will be receiving the Eucharist, the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ. This is an incredible statement and takes a life-time of prayer and reflection to even slightly pierce this Mystery. St John tells us in his gospel that this teaching of Jesus was a tipping point in his ministry and He lost many followers because of it. But there is another group of Jesus’ disciples that may be just as disappointing. The first are those who could not accept the Eucharist as gift and left. But another are those who take the Eucharist for granted. Does this miracle of God’s self-giving love at the altar each day create in us awe? Or humility? Or energetic zeal? Or a burning desire for God? Or selfless charity? Do I remember each day at the receiving of Christ’s Body and Blood to even say “thank you”!? This Consecration happens thousands of times a day all around the world and to keep this sacrament from becoming too commonplace we need to keep our reverence, joy and thanksgiving alive through meditation and prayer.
We all know what it is like to have given someone a gift that wasn’t appreciated. ..Perhaps, embarrassing to say, we even wish we could have taken it back! Yet one of the beauties the Eucharist teaches us is that Christ desires to give Himself totally regardless of our response or receptivity. He continues to give Himself over and over, not just at the altar, but every moment of our day. We are called to imitate Christ in this self-donation without conditions – freely, w/o refunds or regrets!
We have all heard the phrase that we are called to be “Eucharistic people” but what does that look like? Do we think it is to give to others while still remaining in control? Or to give from my surplus which makes me feel good but doesn’t cost me much? Obviously that isn’t what Jesus taught us at the Last Supper. I see the Triduum, which begins with the celebration of the Last Supper on Holy Thursday, as a sort of running commentary or description of what the Eucharist is or looks like – a definition by pure example.