Sunday, June 22, 2014

Why not the Eucharist?

Why is today called The Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ and not just the Solemnity of the Most Holy Eucharist? Wouldn't be simpler?

As humans we are sensual creatures. We make contact with the world through our five senses. We need things that we can see and taste, touch and smell, words that we can hear.

We call our celebration the Eucharist to tell us why we are there. "Let us give thanks to the Lord. It is right and just." We give him thanks always and everywhere.

Today is not about the why but about the what of our celebration. Do we understand what we are receiving? Do we really truly believe that it is the Body and Blood of Chrsit that we receive in the Eucharist?

I grew up baptist. I did not believe. I thought communion was merely symbolic. Until I went back and really prayed over The Bread of Life Discourse in John's Gospel (Jn 6:22-59).

Is it hard to believe? Of course. Even in the gospel we hear in the very next verses.
Then many of his disciples who were listening said, “This saying is hard; who can accept it?”Since Jesus knew that his disciples were murmuring about this, he said to them, “Does this shock you?

Yes it shocked them. The whole thing sounded crazy. Even today 2000 years later there are disciples, Christian who cannot accept it. But it is still true.

Christ understood that as human beings we needed him to make myself present to us in tangible ways. The Eucharist is something we can see touch taste and smell; bread and wine, the most basic foods that become truly Christ present to us, for us.

Yesterday we began the Fortnight for Freedom, two weeks of prayer focused on our basic right to live our faith. Light us not forget the center of that faith! and the sacrament through which he continually makes himself present to us.