Readings for June 14, 2020
Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ
Deuteronomy 8:2-3, 14-16
Psalm 147:12-15, 19-20
1 Corinthians 10:16-17
“The Eucharist is the source and summit of the Christian life … By the Eucharistic celebration we unite ourselves with the heavenly liturgy and anticipate eternal life, when God will be all in all.” (Catechism of the Catholic Church 1324, 1326)
When it was deemed unsafe to attend church services during the pandemic, Mass was first celebrated virtually–in our homes via live stream or recorded video. Eventually, we celebrated (weather permitting), in drive-in fashion, participating from our car behind closed windows. We heard the Word, we sang the songs, we said the prayers…but we could not receive Eucharist. As a Catholic, that was extremely difficult. That difficulty, however, led to an unexpected hunger for Christ as I had never before experienced.
I admit that I may have let some of my celebration become routine. I admit that I may have taken for granted what Eucharist means to me, to my life as a Christian. The absence, then, helped me to remember.
When we participate in the Holy Eucharist, we participate in a heavenly banquet. We believe Jesus when he said, “For my flesh is true food, and my blood is true drink,” and we believe in his sacrifice for our salvation. During the Eucharistic Prayers, as part of the Catholic Mass, we pray the words Jesus spoke at the Last Supper, “Do this in remembrance of me.” When God’s Chosen People are crossing into the Promised Land, Moses uses similar language. “Do not forget the Lord your God.” Now that I can receive the Eucharist once more, the words of Moses, telling me not to forget the Lord my God echo so much louder in my heart.
Last Sunday, at Pentecost, I was able to celebrate Mass for the first time in two months and I was able to celebrate the Eucharist. This week’s participation in the Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ will be that much more fulfilling as I celebrate again. One with the Body of Christ again, remembering the Lord my God, brings me unutterable joy. In remembrance, then, we celebrate. Praise God!
Grant, O Lord, we pray, that we may delight for all eternity in that share in your divine life, which is foreshadowed in the present age by our reception of your precious Body and Blood. Amen
(Prayer after Communion)