Sunday, June 22, 2014

Thoughts on Corpus Christi

     Moses told the people "Remember".  Remember the God who came to your assistance.  He told them to "Never forget" what God had done for them.  Generations later, at the conclusion of a extraordinary meal with his closest friends, Jesus tells them to "Do this in memory of me."  The Church invites us to remember, to never forget who we are and what God has done for us on this Solemnity of the Most Precious Body and Blood of Our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, or Corpus Christi.

     In the waters of baptism a most wondrous thing takes place, unimaginable and unthinkable - the creature is lifted to the dignity of the son or daughter.  We are brought into a relationship that is truly lifegiving and are given a share in the divine.  We share in the nature of the divine and are able to become one with the mystery of God - One God in Three Distinct Persons as we saw last week in the Trinity.  We become a part of the family that is God, we are formed into the community of faith that is the Church, we become a part of the Body of Christ - Corpus Christi.   That becomes our identity and our reason to be.  So, this feast is about us ... who we are and what we have become.  But it has another, entirely more beautiful dimension to it.

     This Body of Christ that we are a part of is sustained by the nurturing and nourishment given to us by the Lord Jesus in his Body and Blood.  In that Last Supper and in every Eucharistic celebration since, he feeds us with his flesh, which he tells us is true food and cleanses and refreshes us with his blood, which is true drink.   There is an ancient image of Christ in art of a pelican and her young.  The altar piece at Saint Sebastian in Belle Vernon has this image.  The pelican is seen nourishing her young by pecking at her breast and feeding them with her flesh and nourishing them with her blood - the ultimate sacrifice.  She would give herself for those whom she cared for.  Is this not Christ.  He said that unless we eat his flesh and drink his blood we have no life within us.  These were very difficult words and many found it altogether too much.  But for those who know him, who love God and who serve him in their love for his people, these are the words of eternal life.  And on this feast of Corpus Christi - we celebrate the Body of Christ fed by the Body of Christ - the Eucharist.  Come and be fed.  Come and live.  Come and be CORPUS CHRISTI.


     For another view of the scriptures for this feast, check out a reflection that I did for the Diocesan web site at and hit the appropriate section of the rolling scroll at the top.  Thanks.

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