Sunday, June 7, 2015

On the Feast of Corpus Christi

This Sunday, the Catholic Church celebrates the Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ- perhaps more commonly known as Corpus Christi.  Tradition has it that a young girl named Juliana received visions from Christ starting at the time that she was 16 years old.  Through her prayerful devotion to the Eucharist, she began to learn that Christ was calling her to help institute a celebration which focused on the adoration of the Blessed Sacrament.  It was the local bishop who accepted her proposal for the new feast day which led to other bishops introducing it within their own dioceses in the area.  As we will experience on Sunday after the 10:30 AM Mass, the Feast of Corpus Christi concludes with a procession of the Blessed Sacrament around the local area.

One of the most interesting stories related to this feast comes from a priest who celebrated mass in the town of Blosena in the Umbria region of Italy.  In the course of celebrating the consecration, he began to have feelings of doubt that the bread and wine were truly becoming the Body and Blood of Christ.  He then saw the consecrated bread show a red liquid substance which looked like blood.  It was determined through the Church that the blood had come to the altar as a sign to the priest that the Real Presence was true.  The blood-marked corporal is now preserved in the local cathedral for all to see.

We have all doubted things in life but our faith gives us the power to believe.  Each time we celebrate the Mass, we remember Christ's sacrifice for us but we also welcome Him to the table of our lives.  The Eucharist is what sets us as Catholics apart from other faiths.  If you step back and think about the significance of what we believe, it is a pretty powerful display of faith.  The fact that Jesus is present through His Body and His Blood should give us tremendous hope.  Just has God sent His Son in the form of a man to walk among us 2,000 years ago, the Son comes to us each day to lead us back to the Father.

So this weekend, take extra care to listen to the Eucharistic Prayers which walk us through the mystery of faith that we believe... the True Presence of the Body and Blood of Christ in the Eucharist.

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