The Feast of Corpus Christi – the Body and Blood of Christ – commemorates Jesus’ institution of the Holy Eucharist at the Last Supper
The Gospel Reading reminds us to receive the Eucharist as though we are falling into the arms of God like someone dying of hunger in the wilderness of this life.
EUCHARIST: CENTER OF OUR EXISTENCE
The great American 20th century novelist and devout Catholic Flannery O’Connor once penned a letter to a friend describing a gathering to which she had been invited hosted by New York City socialites. She wrote:
“I was once, five or six years ago, taken by some friends to have dinner with Mary McCarthy and her husband, Mr. Broadwater. She departed the Church at the age of 15 and is a Big Intellectual. We went at eight and at one, I hadn’t opened my mouth once, there being nothing for me in such company to say. Having me there was like having a dog present who had been trained to say a few words but overcome with inadequacy had forgotten them.
Well, toward morning the conversation turned on the Eucharist, which I, being the Catholic, was obviously supposed to defend. Mrs. Broadwater…thought of it as a symbol and implied that it was a pretty good one. I then said, in a very shaky voice,
‘Well, if it’s a symbol, to hell with it.’ That was all the defense I was capable of but I realize now that this is all I will ever be able to say about it, outside of a story, except that it is the center of existence for me; all the rest of life is expendable.”
The long Eucharistic fast severely imposed by COVID-19 made us consider anew its central importance. Eucharist is the very source and summit of the Christian life. It is the encounter with Jesus, what we do in remembrance of Him as He told us to do. The God of the Universe making available to us, as unworthy as we always remain, His actual Presence – Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity.
Every Eucharist miraculously presents the one real sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the Cross in mysterious unbloodied way. When we eat the broken consecrated Body we unite ourselves with the love of Christ. When we drink from the sacred chalice we unite ourselves with Him who even poured out His blood out of love for us. Done solely in remembrance of what Jesus did at the Last Supper.