Today we celebrate the feast of Corpus Christi, Feast of the Sacred Body and Blood of Christ which is the very center and heart of our faith.
In 1264 Pope Urban IV instituted the feast of the Body and Blood of Jesus one year after a priest‘s testimony about the presence of Jesus in the bread and wine during the consecration. That priest was making his pilgrimage from Prague to Rome to ask God to strengthen his faith, especially his vocation. When it was almost the end of his pilgrimage, he celebrated Mass and during the consecration, the bread turned into flesh and began to bleed. The drops of blood that fell on the small white cloth on the altar may still be seen in the blood-stained corporal until now in the Basilica of Orvieto, North of Rome.
When we attend Mass, we believe that we receive Jesus who is truly and physically present to us in His Body and Blood in the form of Bread and Wine. The Mass is a celebration of the love of Jesus for us. He gave us his own body and his blood which is “shed for all so that sins may be forgiven”. So we need to welcome Jesus in our hearts as our Lord and Savior. However, we often find ourselves so easily attracted by the world that we have not yet put God at the centre of our lives. Since we have physical needs and while we spend much effort in satisfying our material well-being, we cannot have space for God instead, then what we can find is vanity, emptiness, tiredness, etc. since we don’t have a sense for God who could give us the real joy.
Like the priest mentioned above, all of us need to pray to Jesus, to ask Him to help us to put God in the center of our life. We pray that Jesus will help us to remember always that He is the only One who can nourish and strengthen us spiritually in our daily living on earth. Mother Theresa reminds us that “every Eucharist should be celebrated with such attention, reverence and participation as though it is our first, our last and our only Eucharist”. Let us open our hearts and ask fervently God for His grace of renewing our desires to welcome Jesus in the Eucharist with greater gratitude and love. Let us each promise Jesus personally that from today we will try our very best to attend each Eucharistic celebration as it is our first Eucharist, our last Eucharist, and our only Eucharist. When we can do this we will surely gain not only earthly happiness, but also, eternal life.