June 14, 2020 - Pastor Message07/09/2020
“While they were eating, Jesus took bread, said the blessing, broke it, and giving it to his disciples said, ‘Take and eat, this is my body.’ Then he took the cup, gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, ‘Drink from it, all of you, for this is my blood of the covenant, which will be shed on behalf of many for the forgiveness of sins. I tell you, from now on I shall not drink this fruit of the vine until the day when I drink it with you new in the kingdom of my Father’” (Matthew 26:26-30).
This weekend we celebrate the feast of Corpus Christi, the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ. It seems strange to have a feast day dedicated to the celebration of Christ’s Body and Blood. Don’t we celebrate Christ’s Body and Blood at every Mass? The answer of course is yes. But the real question each of us needs to ask is, do I celebrate Christ’s Body and Blood at every Mass? Familiarity breeds contempt, and, because we celebrate Mass each week, it can become easy to allow ourselves to be distracted and for our minds to wander instead of focusing on the awesome mystery unfolding before us. Like all feasts, we celebrate Corpus Christi to remind ourselves of that mystery and to refocus ourselves on it.
That is perhaps truer this year than any other before as we return to public Mass to receive Christ’s Body and Blood after three months away. Many people watched Mass online or on TV during that time, and many still are, which is great and is a helpful way of keeping the Lord’s Day holy when we cannot come to Mass in person for health reasons. The ultimate goal for all of us, though, when our health and good judgment allow, is to be in the presence of Christ in the Eucharist and to be nourished by his Body and Blood in Holy Communion, which is the mystery we remember in a special way in this weekend’s feast.
So whether we celebrate the Eucharist this weekend in person at church or by watching the Mass at home, may our celebration help us to refocus on this awesome gift and renew and deepen our faith in Christ’s saving Body and Blood. I ask you to keep in prayer in a special way the young people of our parish who will receive Holy Communion for the first time, whether this weekend or at a future date. May their encounter with the Lord in the Eucharist transform their lives and make them more and more like his own each time they receive his precious Body and Blood.
Fr. Marc Stockton