Today's Scriptural Meditation Readings:
May 25, A.D. 2008
Scripture from today's Liturgy of the Word:
Deueronomy 8:2-3, 14b-16a
Psalm 147:12-13, 14-15, 19-20
1 Corinthians 10:16-17
A reflection on today's Scripture:
In the First Reading for this great feast of Corpus Christi (the Solemnity of the Body and Blood of Christ), Moses reminds the people in the desert to "remember their story."
And what a story! From the beginning of creation, God has always taken care to feed the people He created. They failed to appreciate the delicious fruit in the Garden of Eden, so they lost it! But later He gave them that mysterious "manna" in the desert. They got tired of that, too. Then Jesus promised them something much better than manna. After all, He told them, your fathers ate manna in the desert, and they're all dead!
However, they couldn't trust Him and all His talk about "flesh and blood." They ran, except Peter and the apostles who did a double-take, thought a little about the alternative of leaving Him, and decided to stay it out. How blessed for the Church and for themselves that they did! Even though the Last Supper was still shrouded in mystery, they got the idea of how He would give them His own Body and Blood. That wonderful Emmaus incident of Jesus revealing Himself in "the breaking of the bread" helped a lot, but it took the coming of the Holy Spirit for them to finally believe with all their minds and hearts. And the Mass was celebrated from then on!
St. Paul insists we are all one body when we celebrate—French or Latino, American or African or Chinese—we are all one body—for rejoicing, for loving, and for giving away. I think the biggest question this week for us, besides firmly believing in the Real Presence, is the question of how much of the Eucharist do we share?
After all, if we really become the Body and Blood of Christ, in the Lord and in one another, then selfishness has no place. Of course, we want to savor the Lord's friendship, for some time after receiving Holy Communion (don't let anyone cheat you out of that time!). But then we must "go" and "give."
We give when we discipline ourselves when we answer the pastor's call for help in a parish activity, and when we are patient with our children (even if we have to force a smile and a kind word of correction). And we certainly give when we share ourselves and our families on a Sunday afternoon with a visit to grandmother or an aunt—or just a neighbor—in the nursing home or hospital. It's a sermon to our children that they will probably remember even more than your pastor's carefully prepared homily! Then, there are the big issues of social justice! These are all connected with the Holy Eucharist.
This feast is a time for reminiscence for us "older" people. Remember Sunday afternoon Benediction and Vespers, with the wonderful smell of incense, the clanking of the censor, and those beautiful Benediction hymns? Many of us still remember the great Corpus Christi processions in our home parishes or in our Catholic high school.
I remember taking part in a grand Corpus Christi procession in Rome in 1979 when Pope John Paul II restored this ancient custom, and carried a huge monstrance publicly from St. John Lateran to St. Mary Major, with thousands singing and weeping for joy at the honoring of Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament. Some may be attending the Eucharistic Congress in Quebec this summer.
Whenever possible, look for opportunities to bring your children and family to Benediction of the Most Blessed Sacrament, and to parish days of Exposition and prayer. These devotions are a cherished part of our Catholic heritage, and highly recommended by Pope Benedict XVI.
May the heart of Jesus, in the most Blessed Sacrament, be praised, adored, and loved, with grateful affection, at every moment, in all the tabernacles throughout the world, until the end of time. Amen.
- Msgr. Paul Whitmore |
email: pwhitmore29 (at) yahoo (dot) com
The Solemnity of the Body and Blood of Christ
Lives of the saints:
Full Scripture text from today's Liturgy of the Word:
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