Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ
Gen. 14: 18-20 Cor. 11:23-26 Luke 9: 11b-17
In some localities there are processions for the celebration of this feast of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ; a priest robed in gold under a canopy, holding the gold monstrance with a large Host, as the faithful parade the streets to honor the gift given to us the night before Jesus died. Lesser rituals are held in churches as Catholics continue to bring alive their reverence for this sacred day of our liturgical year.
Before the institution of the Eucharist, in the first reading Melchizedek, the king and a priest of God celebrates with bread and wine. Down through the ages the faithful gather to worship and remember God with a variety of rituals and customs, aware that the need to build groups who worship in common. Our churches are mandated to provide religious education, and the preparation for the sacraments.
The hallmark of any Catholic Church is the reservation of the Blessed Sacrament reserved for adoration throughout the week, not just on the Sabbath. Expositions, at Holy Hours, or in some places Perpetual Adoration are part of the liturgical life of a parish. The laity are now commissioned as Eucharistic Ministers as they provide the Bread of Life for those unable to come to church.
The feast may be our opportunity to become more mindful of the sacredness of this sacrament, as now it is possible to receive it frequently and outside of the liturgy. There may be a tendency to take it for granted or receive it with a lesser awareness than what The Body of Christ deserves. It may be observed that a child’s First Communion is centered on the appearances of the child and the social event of the day, rather than the core reason for the occasion. Frequent reception may deprive Jesus of the worship due to His saving act of our salvation.
With the Feast of the Sacred Heart approaching and a long season of Ordinary Time between this feast and Advent, let us renew our desire to take more seriously and reverently the greatest gift left to us by Jesus before returning to the Trinity.
Let us pray: “O Sacrament Most Holy, O Sacrament Divine; All Praise and All Thanksgiving be every moment thine.”
Sister Dorothy Maxwell, OP