June 19, 2022 – Solemnity of The Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ (aka Corpus Christi)
Today we celebrate Corpus Christi. The feast focuses our attention on the greatest mystery of the Church – the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist through the miracle of transubstantiation. During the prayers of consecration, the gifts on the altar cease to be wheat communion wafers and altar wine and become instead the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ. They do not symbolize the Body and Blood of Christ; they are the Body and Blood of Christ. As a divine mystery, our human minds will never be able to fully understand the Real Presence, but we accept it as a mystery of the Church as we continue to dig deeper – “embrace the mystery” – in order to gain a better understanding.
There is a second miracle that takes place at the Mass. We enter the church as individuals. However, after our participation in the Mass and reception of the Real Presence in the Eucharist, we leave the church as an active part of the communal Body of Christ.
This second miracle comes with an obligation. We are called to be the presence of Christ to others, to take Jesus “to the streets” (which is literally what will happen in the Archdiocese of Indianapolis today via the Eucharistic procession). Jesus shared those marching orders in today’s gospel – the story of the multiplication of loaves and fishes from Luke – when He told his disciples: “Give them some food yourselves.” As we are nourished, so we must nourish.
If we are successful in our efforts to “feed others” by sharing the presence of Christ in our lives, we will have the same result as Jesus did in the gospel: “All ate and were satisfied.”