The Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ
June 19, 2022
Today, in God’s Lavish Mercy, we celebrate the most intimate and sacred feast of “Corpus Christi”, as we called it in our Latinized “old days”. In those days, we tried very hard to celebrate the feast in the best way we knew how — processions, hymns, exposition of the Blessed Sacrament. Yet nothing did, nor ever will, come close to capturing the mystery we honor on this holy day.
I am the living bread that came down from heaven,
says the Lord;
whoever eats this bread will live forever.
The items of faith contained in this short verse are earth-shattering. We are asked to believe that Jesus
- came down from heaven
- is the visible Presence of the infinite Love of God
- lives on with in the Eucharist and in the community of the Church
- grants us a share in eternal life
- and is present to us beyond time, space, and appearances
The mystery of the Body of Christ/Living Bread is infinite and profound. Great minds such as Pierre Teilhard deChardin spent entire lives plumbing its depths.
When one understands how physical and immediate is the omni-influence of Christ, the vigor assumed by every detail of the Christian life is quite astonishing; it gains an emphasis never dreamt of by those who are frightened of the realistic view of the mystery of the Incarnation.
Take charity, for example, that complete change of attitude so insistently taught by Christ. It has nothing in common with our colorless philanthropy, but represents the essential affinity which brings human beings closer together, not in the superficial sphere of sensible affections or earthly interests, but in building up the pleroma (the fullness of God in Creation.).
The possibility, and even the obligation of doing everything for God are no longer based solely on the virtue of obedience, or solely on the moral value of intention; they can be explained, in short, only by the marvelous grace, instilled into every human effort, no matter how material, of effectively cooperating, through its physical result, in the fulfillment of the body of Christ.Pierre Teilhard de Chardin in Christianity and Evolution
As I pray this rather heady passage from de Chardin, I reflect on these thoughts:
- All Creation generates from God and returns to God in the fullness of Love.
- Jesus Christ is the visible gift of that Love born into our human story.
- By our faith in Jesus, and our choice to participate in his life, we become part of the ongoing perfection of Creation.
- The Body of Christ, once present in the flesh in time, now sanctifies Creation through our lives, united in the Bread of Life.
No poetry today. Slowly read and re-read the passage from de Chardin. Find it’s message for you … perhaps just a word or a phrase:
- the omni-influence of Christ
- charity, …. that complete change of attitude so insistently taught by Christ
- nothing in common with our colorless philanthropy
- building up the fullness of God in Creation
- the marvelous grace… of effectively cooperating … in the fulfillment of the Body of Christ
Music: Benedictus – Karl Jenkins