My Dear Good People,
This weekend we celebrate the beautiful Feast of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ, also called Corpus Christi. In the olden days in this village where I now live, and in countless others throughout our nation, on this day every Catholic family would decorate their front porch for Jesus as He would pass by in procession. The little girls would dress as angels and line the sidewalks, and the altar boys would be in the lead with Father carrying the Blessed Sacrament and the parishioners following behind. This Feast was always on a Thursday, and the local businesses would close down for the afternoon. Those were the days, my friend….
Now, we celebrate with a festive Liturgy, and some parishes have a procession around the church or even outside. But most importantly, it’s a feast we must celebrate way deep in our souls. Just about eight weeks ago on Holy Thursday, we fell on our knees at the realization that He gave us Himself in this Sacrament, but that was the day before Good Friday so it was hard to feel joyful and festive. Today we are invited once again to give thanks and to try to wrap our minds and hearts around this wonderful Gift of the Holy Eucharist from the One who chose to enter the business of our lives, to walk with us, and to share in every aspect of the human experience. Really, that thought can take our breath away.
It’s all too easy to take Holy Communion for granted, especially when we find ourselves receiving Him every week or every day. The familiarity of it can make us forget the incredible reality of His complete Self coming to us in such an intimate way. None of us ever wants that to happen, but it does, so today we are invited by the Church to stop and hear the words, as though for the first time, Take and eat, for this is My Body. Take and drink, for this is My Blood. Who can believe it?
Perhaps you are in a place where you can experience Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament in a special chapel at any time of day or night, or your church is open all day for you to stop in and make a visit to Jesus. The reality, though, is that most of us are so busy trying to do what we need to do for our families, our jobs, our responsibilities in the community (or we are housebound by illness or accident), that we just can’t manage any extra time to go to church outside of weekly Holy Mass. Jesus knows that. He understands. If that’s the case for you, then try at some quiet point each day this week (every week), to turn your heart toward last Sunday’s holy Communion, and rest a moment in the wondrous awareness of His presence within you. He loves it when we remember Him. He said it at the Last Supper right after instituting this Sacrament: Do this in remembrance of Me.
The Holy Eucharist is a living Gift, boundless in its possibilities for helping you grow in holiness, for finding courage in the stress of a moment, and for sharing some joy or sorrow of your life with Jesus Who longs to be part of everything that makes you, you. This Sacrament is specifically for you, and this Feast is to help you recall it.
This afternoon at 2:00 (Eastern Time) the Sisters will reverently walk with Jesus in our own Corpus Christi procession throughout our home and along the two or three streets surrounding our Motherhouse. Do come along. We’ll each tuck you into the pocket of our heart. We’d love to have you with us.
So would Jesus. I promise.