This Sunday we celebrate the Solemnity of Corpus Christi, the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ, and we focus on our devotion to the Eucharist. This devotion was certainly shared by Saint Pope John Paul II. Shortly before his death, as he celebrated the Mass of the Lord’s Supper, Pope John Paul stated that a love for the Eucharist helps to create saints and an awareness of vocations.
Our Holy Father Pope Francis has also called on us to focus on the Eucharist. As reported in the media publication, “Catholic News Agency”, he stated, “This is the Lord present in the Eucharist. He calls us to be citizens of Heaven, but at the same time, He takes into account the journey we have to face here on earth.” He further noted, “In the Eucharist, everyone can experience this loving and concrete attention of the Lord. Those who receive the Body and Blood of Christ with faith not only eat but are satisfied.”
As we reflect on these words of Our Holy Father, we are reminded that, as Catholics, we are blessed to have a high regard for the Eucharist, the source and summit of our faith. We are invited to bond with each other by nourishing together on the Bread of Life in the Eucharist, and then by going forth in loving service of our brothers and sisters, especially our brothers and sisters in need.
One way we demonstrate our high regard for the Eucharist is through our participation in the Eucharistic Congress. This year, there will be no formal Archdiocesan Eucharistic Congress, as Eucharistic devotion will be centered on the parish level. However, there will be a National Eucharistic Congress in June 2024, with a focus on the Real Presence of Jesus in the Eucharist. Archbishop Hartmayer expressed his hope that these devotions at the parish and national levels will inspire, “…a renewed encounter with the Lord Jesus in the Eucharist and an experience of the Gospel (kerygma), renewed Eucharistic devotion and adoration throughout the archdiocese, and a revival of faithful celebration (the ars celebrandi ) and participation in the liturgy.”
The following “Prayer for the Feast of Corpus Christi” encourages us to truly appreciate the gift of the Eucharist. As we reflect on this prayer, we are reminded that the word “Eucharist” means “giving thanks.”
Jesus, Body, and Blood,
we are grateful for the gift of Your life
Teach us to draw on the gift of Your Body and Blood
for energy, renewal, strength, and grace.
May we never take this gift of your presence for granted.
And today we can once again thank the Lord for the great gift of the Eucharist and our faith community of Saint Brigid.