Feast of the Body and Blood of Jesus, Corpus Christi 2024

Reflection for the Feast of the Body and Blood of Jesus, Corpus Christi, 2024

This week, in preparation for writing this reflection for the Feast of Corpus Christi, I opened the Gospel for today looking for ‘something new,’ some words that had not struck me before. But I was immediately reminded of the many years I prepared little children for their First Holy Communion, and the scores of classes moved across my memory like the trailer of a great movie. What I think of above all and with unfailing joy is the absolute, uninhibited and profound faith with which those little ones took in everything I said about the Holy Eucharist. It was different from the way 7-year-olds believe in the Tooth Fairy or Santa Claus (though of course by then many children are suspicious of both). Jesus in the Host is on a completely different plane for second graders. They are mesmerized by the Mystery of it all. A few begin by thinking it’s magic. But how ‘Jesus scrunches Himself into a ball and fits into the Host’ (as one little fellow explained to the inquiring Pastor early on in the instruction) quickly develops into a blind conviction that Jesus simply wants to come to them in person, so the Priest says the Holy Words and there He is! Seldom did any of them ask for a greater explanation of how it happens. It’s a miracle, and miracles are, well, just miracles so, “Tell us some more, Sister!” How often I heard that: Tell us some more. Tell us why He wants to come. What happens inside me? Does He love me more every time? Can we receive Communion when we get to Heaven? Honestly, I can’t remember ever in all those years hearing any child say, “I don’t understand this.”

What I remember with a great tenderness in my soul, though, is the longing, the wanting so much for Jesus to come into their little hearts. I recall one child asking, “How many times can I make my First Communion?” I sensed a deeper meaning in her question. So, I pray she was satisfied when I told her, and all her squirmy classmates, “Here’s something very important: you should all receive Communion every time for the rest of your life with as much love as you bring to Jesus on your First Holy Communion Day.”

I wonder where that tiny one is now. I wonder if she still thinks of that when she receives Jesus into her heart. And I wonder if that’s true for me every morning when I kneel at the altar rail to receive Him.

O my dearest Jesus, please let it be true for me.

“With Mary, our lives continually proclaim the greatness of the Lord and the joy experienced in rendering service to Him.”

Holy Rule

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