Homily on Corpus Christi, June 6, 2021
See here the Lamb of God
The Lord Jesus on the night of his betrayal, took bread, said the blessing, broke it, gave it to them, and said, "Take it; this is my body." Then he took a cup, gave thanks, and gave it to them, and they all drank from it. He said to them, "This is my blood of the covenant, which will be shed for many.” The author of the Letter to the Hebrews writes: « the blood of Christ, …, [will] cleanse our consciences from dead works to worship the living God. » On the solemnity of Corpus Christi we give expression to our firm belief in the origin of the Sacrament of the Eucharist, its meaning and the fruits of it.
Truly the Eucharist is a mysterium fidei, a mystery which surpasses our understanding and can only be received in faith, as is often brought out in the catechesis of the Church Fathers regarding this divine sacrament: “Do not see – Saint Cyril of Jerusalem exhorts – in the bread and wine merely natural elements, because the Lord has expressly said that they are his body and his blood: faith assures you of this, though your senses suggest otherwise”. Lord, give us faith to belief in your true presence in the Eucharist and thankfulness to adore you.
The Church draws her life from the Eucharist. Here we receive not the invisible grace, the help of God. In the Eucharist we receive Jesus Christ himself. Wouldn’t it be a good idea to read this week the encyclical Ecclesia de eucharistia again?
How shall we venerate the precious Body and Blood of Jesus? You did enter this church and when passing in front of the tabernacle, you kneeled or bowed you head. Why not make that an expression of our faith in his true presence? Say a short prayer while kneeling. Something like: Jesus I believe you are here, that you hear me, that you see me. I adore you in the blessed sacrament. Such piety is not for the faint hearted!
Or another possibility could be to use this moment when the strict measures around the pandemic relax step by step. Use the opportunity of today’s solemnity to return to the old habit of receiving Holy Communion on the tongue as before. It seems a good moment.
"See here the Lamb of God", says the Mass liturgy. And with the three wise men from the Orient we say: we have come to adore him in the company of Mary and Joseph. Amen.