Corpus Christi Reflection
My hope is that someone will read this note and have a new appreciation of the sacrament of the Eucharist. I thought it appropriate to write a reflection on the Eucharist on the Feast of the Body of Christ, in Latin, Corpus Christi. I may at some later time write another note showing Biblical proof of the Eucharist, but today I thought it more appropriate to focus on the love of Christ.
Today, on the Feast of Corpus Christi, we worship, honor, and venerate Christ in the Eucharist. Christ loved us so much that He could not bear to be parted from us, even for a day; He instituted the Eucharist the night He was to be betrayed, so as to always be physically present with us, poor sinners, whom He loves. What lover would not want this, to be physically present with his beloved every day he can? Christ does the same; He imprisons Himself in the tabernacle, waiting for us to come to Him and love Him. He has assumed total weakness and humility and silence - He has taken on the appearance of death - but His Heart is waiting, ever awake, waiting for each one of us to come and love Him. He has made Himself so accessible to us; He loves each one of us as if there was no one else in the world but one individual. We, the baptized, make up the Body of Christ; we make up His Bride; it only makes sense that He should love us individually and as a whole, as a lover would love anything to do with his beloved.
Yet, in Churches today, it seems Jesus is given no respect - He is often locked up in an empty Church, with no souls to adore Him - they would not even be able to enter the building! How His Heart must break! And when there come those to worship Him, they come bringing the world with them; they come to talk to neighbors, friends, but spend but a few minutes (if that) in prayer before our Lord. Jesus is forgotten in His own house; there is too much noise. The choirs practice in the area of prayer, the people are distracted, and the priests neglect to mention the importance of the Eucharist. In fact, some priests seem not to care about the Eucharist at all. How Jesus wants all our hearts, just as a lover wants the heart of the beloved! He is so desperate for love, He is glad that someone came to Him; but it is a slap in the face to go to someone's house and not even give them the time of day!
Jesus is the King of Glory - just as He willingly suffered death, so as to set us free, He willingly allows Himself to be abused here, so that we may love Him freely and have faith in Him. He is there, in the species of the bread and wine; He waits; and His Heart is constantly broken. People come and go at Mass and dress and act as if a Catholic Church is no different from any other building, as if God is not there and He does not see. When we receive the Eucharist, we are united to God Himself; we are united to the Trinity; yet we show Him so little love or thankfulness! Have we Catholics forgotten what we believe? And those who receive the Eucharist unworthily only injure Jesus more; just as when two perform an act of love insincerely, it estranges them rather than unites them (as is the original purpose), so also does receiving the Eucharist insincerely estrange one from Christ.
Should we be indifferent to such a great unrequited Love? He comes to us more fragilely than He did at His incarnation and has allowed us to abuse or love Him as we please. His Heart cries out for us, though we are sinful; He gives us His own Blood, a cup of eternal and endless love, to drink, and He gives us His own Body to eat, the bread of angels! He has given us creation, friends, family; what more can He give, when God has given Himself to us? He has withheld nothing, hoping to give all things to us and unite us to Him. At Mass, we enter Heaven - this is the reality! - with the host of adorerers, angels and saints, to accompany the Lord. We step outside of time. While we are at Mass, let's forget all our earthly cares and focus on the God who loves us.
On this feast of Corpus Christi, let us spend some time reflecting on how much God loves us in the Eucharist, and the reality of His presence in the tabernacle and on the altar; let us show Christ our love, and for just one day, not show Him the contempt we show on a daily basis. To not honor Christ in the Eucharist, on the day specifically named for honoring the Eucharist, is a slap in the face. Let's not forget our dignity as Catholics, nor make light of the sacrifices of Jesus' love. Let us go to Him, as He desires more than anything, so He may speak to us in the silence of our souls, and pour down graces and Love and Mercy as He desires to lavish upon us. Let us above all give thanks to God for the gift of His presence, as the word "Eucharist" comes from the Greek "eucharistia", which means "thanksgiving".
Jesus, Eucharistic King, have mercy on us!