Thought for the Day – 3 June 2018 – The Solemnity of Corpus Christi
Excerpts from a homily given by Saint Josemaria Escrivá (1902-1975) on 28 May 1964, the feast of Corpus Christi and published in “Christ is Passing By.”
“Let’s turn our eyes to the holy Eucharist, toward Jesus. He is here with us. He has made us a part of Himself: “Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it.” God has decided to stay in the tabernacle to nourish us, strengthen us, make us divine and give effectiveness to our work and efforts. Jesus is at one and the same time the sower, the seed and the final result of the sowing: the bread of eternal life.
The miracle of the holy Eucharist is being continually renewed and it has all Jesus’ personal traits. Perfect God and perfect man, Lord of heaven and earth, He offers Himself to us as nourishment in the most natural and ordinary way. Love has been awaiting us for two thousand years. That’s a long time and yet it’s not, for when you are in love time flies.
When we meet together around the altar to celebrate the holy Sacrifice of the Mass, when we contemplate the sacred host in the monstrance or adore it hidden in the tabernacle, our faith should be strengthened; we should reflect on this new life which we are receiving and be moved by God’s affection and tenderness.
In the Eucharist, Jesus gives us a sure pledge of His presence in our souls; of His power, which supports the whole world; of His promises of salvation, which will help the human family to dwell forever in the house in heaven, when time comes to an end. There we shall find God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Spirit – the Blessed Trinity, the one and only God. Our whole faith is brought into play when we believe in Jesus, really present under the appearances of bread and wine.
On this feast of Corpus Christi in cities and towns throughout the world, Christians accompany our Lord in procession. Hidden in the host He moves through the streets and squares—just as during His earthly life—going to meet those who want to see Him, making Himself available to those who are not looking for Him. And so, once more, He comes among His own people. How are we to respond to this call of His?
The external signs of love should come from the heart and find expression in the testimony of a Christian life. If we have been renewed by receiving our Lord’s body, we should show it. Let us pray that our thoughts be sincere, full of peace, self-giving and service. Let us pray that we be true and clear in what we say—the right thing at the right time—so as to console and help and especially bring God’s light to others. Let us pray that our actions be consistent and effective and right, so that they give off “the good fragrance of Christ,” evoking is way of doing things.
The Corpus Christi procession makes Christ present in towns and cities throughout the world. But His presence cannot be limited to just one day, a noise you hear and then forget. It should remind us that we have to discover our Lord in our ordinary everyday activity. Side by side with this solemn procession, there is the simple, silent procession of the ordinary life of each Christian. He is a man among men, who by good fortune has received the faith and the divine commission to act so that he renews the message of our Lord on earth. We are not without defects; we make mistakes and commit sins. But God is with us and we must make ourselves ready to be used by Him, so that He can continue to walk among men.
Let us ask our Lord then to make us souls devoted to the Blessed Eucharist, so that our relationship with Him brings forth joy and serenity and a desire for justice. In this way we will make it easier for others to recognise Christ; we will put Christ at the centre of all human activities. And Jesus’ promise will be fulfilled: “I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to myself.”
Comforted by Christ’s presence and nourished by His Body, we will be faithful during our life on earth and then we will be victors with Jesus and His Mother in heaven. “O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?… Thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.”