I would like to take this opportunity to wish all of you God’s blessings as we celebrate the Solemnity of the Body and Blood of Christ, otherwise known to many of us as the Solemnity of Corpus Christi. As we know, our belief in the presence of Jesus in the Eucharist is at the very heart of our Catholic faith. We believe that whenever we receive the Sacrament of Holy Communion we are truly receiving the gift of Jesus in His Body and Blood. This is the faith that has sustained our Church for the last 2,000 years, and continues to inspire us today.
Our faith in the presence of Jesus in the Eucharist was reflected over the last few days here at Holy Redeemer as we celebrated the 40 hours of Adoration before the Blessed Sacrament. I am sure that all those who took the time for silent prayer will be enriched by the experience and I pray that our 40 hours of Adoration will bring blessings to all the members of our parish.
Today I would like once again to turn to Pope Francis and offer a few quotes from the homily he preached for this feast last year. We always do well to reflect on his wise words:
“Today, to each of us, the word of God says, Remember! Remember. Memory is important, because it allows us to dwell in love, to be mindful, never forgetting who it is who loves us and whom we are called to love in return. Yet nowadays, this singular ability that the Lord has given us is considerably weakened. Amid so much frantic activity, many people and events seem to pass in a whirl. We quickly turn the page, looking for novelty while unable to retain memories. Leaving our memories behind and living only for the moment, we risk remaining ever on the surface of things, constantly in flux, without going deeper, without the broader vision that reminds us who we are and where we are going. In this way, our life grows fragmented, and dulled within.
Yet today’s Solemnity reminds us that in our fragmented lives, the Lord comes to meet us with a loving “fragility”, which is the Eucharist. In the Bread of Life, the Lord comes to us, making himself a humble meal that lovingly heals our memory, wounded by life’s frantic pace of life. The Eucharist is the memorial of God’s love. There, Christ’s sufferings are remembered” and we recall God’s love for us, which gives us strength and support on our journey. This is why the Eucharistic commemoration does us so much good: it is not an abstract, cold and superficial memory, but a living remembrance that comforts us with God’s love. The Eucharist is flavoured with Jesus’ words and deeds, the taste of his Passion, the fragrance of his Spirit. When we receive it, our hearts are overcome with the certainty of Jesus’ love. In saying this, I think in particular of you boys and girls, who recently received First Holy Communion, and are here today in great numbers.
The Eucharist gives us a grateful memory, because it makes us see that we are the Father’s children, whom he loves and nourishes. It gives us a free memory, because Jesus’ love and forgiveness heal the wounds of the past, soothe our remembrance of wrongs experienced and inflicted. It gives us a patient memory, because amid all our troubles we know that the Spirit of Jesus remains in us. The Eucharist encourages us: even on the roughest road, we are not alone; the Lord does not forget us and whenever we turn to him, he restores us with his love.
Now, in experiencing this Eucharist, let us adore and thank the Lord for this greatest of gifts: the living memorial of his love, that makes us one body and leads us to unity.”
Fr Gerard, CSsR