Saints of God, the Lord be with you!
Two weeks ago on the Solemnity of Pentecost, the Church had us focus on the Holy Spirit: the Divine Love who abides within and among us so as to encourage and empower us to “follow in the footprints of Christ.” With the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, the Church is given its mission to preach and be the presence of Christ in the world. In the Gospel according to John, the Church is born from the spear split side of the crucified Christ from which gushes forth water and blood (signifying the great sacraments of Baptism and the Eucharist).
Last week, the Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity, the Church proclaims the Mystery of All Mysteries in which Christians profess and celebrate that God is in God’s very Self a relationship of Love. From this relationship we are created in and for Love, nourished and redeemed by Love enfleshed in Christ Jesus, and sustained and sanctified by Love through the Holy Spirit. As God is a Personal relationship of Creative, Self Sacrificing, and Abiding Love, we in our everyday lives are called to imitate this love in our own finite way.
Today we focus on the mystery that in the Holy Eucharist, the Risen Christ is truly and fully present under the appearance of bread and wine. Meditate on this. The Risen Christ is not only seated in glory at the right hand of the Father, but in all humility comes into our hands to be touched and tasted. Christ comes to us not only to nourish our souls but our bodies as well.
Each time we receive the Risen Christ in the Holy Eucharist, we are once again dipped in the waters of Christ’s baptism of solidarity. Our identity as disciples of Christ is strengthened and our mission to each other is renewed. As St. Augustine wrote, “Rejoice, O Christian! For by your baptism, you are more than a Christian, you are Christ Himself.” We receive Christ in the Eucharist so as to become more like Him. Seen in this light, the Holy Eucharist becomes food for our journey through life, not a reward for good behavior.
Today I am reminded of that great prayer of St. Theresa of Avila:
“Christ has no body now but yours. No hands, no feet on earth but yours. Yours are the eyes through which He looks compassion on this world. Yours are the feet with which He walks to do good. Yours are the hands through which He blesses all the world. Yours are the hands, yours are the feet, yours are the eyes, YOU are His body. Christ has no body now on earth but yours.”
So today, as we leave our beautiful church and head back into our beautiful and broken world, let us remember that we take Christ with us. Our call is to make Christ visible in the world, and we do this best through simple acts of charity. And to all of us who are the Body of Christ, I give a resounding “Amen!”
Peace and all good,