The Feast of the Body and Blood of Christ.
Gathering today to celebrate the Liturgy and receive the Body and Blood of Christ will literally be for many a feast. After such a long period of forced fasting and deprivation, to receive the Food to sustain our life in Christ is akin to providing nourishment to famine victims.
I was privileged during the past two years to listen to many people who were grieving deeply and feeling bereft because they could not attend Holy Mass and receive the Eucharist. For me it was a deeply moving experience to witness such faith and love for Jesus. In a strange way I was nourished by their fast. Their hunger fed me. It also challenged me. How did my faith compare with theirs? If I had been unable to receive Jesus for months on end, would I have felt starved? If I was deprived of the possibility of spending time with Him daily in Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament would I have been lonely, filled with a longing as deep as that which parents and grandparents had to see their children? That is what these faithful disciples of Jesus experienced.
Each day as I received the Body and Blood of Christ I tried consciously to remember that I was part of the Body of Christ, the mouth, if you like, opening to receive the nourishment that would feed the WHOLE body. We, all the members of the Church are the body of Christ. As I received we were all fed and nourished.
I also found myself rejoicing that there were those who were grieving because they were missing Jesus so much. That grief must have brought so much consolation to the heart of Jesus. He gave his life to reveal to us the depths of the Father’s love for us. Thank God there are still people who appreciate all that He has done for us and return love for love. Even now as I write this I find myself holding back tears. I feel overwhelmed with gratitude to those who truly believe that Jesus is present in the holy Eucharist and honour Him with such devotion. The pain they endured as they stood by the foot of the Cross, is a participation in the Sacrifice of Christ. They themselves became the Bread broken, for the life of the world. As surely as the Resurrection followed the Crucifixion, so will the sacrifice of those who remained faithful during this pandemic bear fruit in a blossoming of new life, renewed faith, hope and love in our midst.
So today, I give thanks to Jesus for his love and for his Real Presence with us in the Blessed Sacrament and I thank Him for all those who respond to that love in a life lived for Him.
O Sacrament Most Holy, O Sacrament Divine,
All praise and all thanksgiving, be every moment Thine.
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