This Sunday, June 3, we celebrate the Solemnity of Corpus Christi (the Body and Blood of Christ). Pope Francis regularly reminds Catholic Christians worldwide that the Holy Eucharist is central to our life – it is a moment of true Communion with the Lord, and with our brothers and sisters who share at the Lord’s altar. The pope has said that when we’re adoring Jesus Christ truly and substantially present in the Eucharist, we can allow ourselves to be transformed by Him (Homily, May 30, 2013). Please remember that we have nearly 24 hours of Solemn Exposition and Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament on First Fridays after the 8:15am Mass at Saint Clement until 8am on Saturday (with Solemn Benediction before the Saturday 8:15am Mass).
Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI has said that the Solemnity of Corpus Christi invites us “to contemplate the supreme Master of our faith: the Blessed Eucharist, the Real Presence of the Lord Jesus Christ in the Sacrament of the altar… Each time a priest repeats the Eucharistic sacrifice, he lends his voice, hands and heart to Christ, Who wished to remain with us and to be the pulsating heart of the Church. Even after the celebration of the divine mysteries, the Lord Jesus remains living in the tabernacle; because of this He is praised, especially by Eucharistic adoration” (Angelus address, June 10, 2007). “There is an intrinsic connection between celebration and adoration. The Holy Mass, in fact, is in itself the Church’s greatest act of adoration. Adoration outside Holy Mass prolongs and intensifies what happened in the liturgical celebration and renders a true and profound reception of Christ possible.”
Jesus and His Church have taught us from the beginning that the Eucharist is Jesus Christ Himself, body, blood, soul and divinity, truly, really and substantially; His glorified Body and Blood; the source and summit of our very life (Catechism of the Catholic Church #1322-ff; John 6; Matthew 26:26-30; Mark 14:22-26; Luke 22:14-20: 1 Corinthians 11:17-34). In the awesome gift of the Eucharist, Holy Communion, Jesus gives us His joy and love, and His strength to fulfill our life’s mission. As Saint Teresa of Calcutta has said, the Eucharist “is the spiritual food that sustains me – without which I could not get through one single day or hour in my life.” Her order, the Missionaries of Charity, with all the work that they do, draw their strength from the Lord in His Mass and in Eucharistic adoration every day.
“In life today, which is often noisy and scattered,” Pope Emeritus Benedict has said, “it is more important than ever to recover the capacity for interior silence and recollection: Eucharistic adoration permits one to do this not only within one’s ‘I’ but rather in the company of that ‘You’ full of love who is Jesus Christ, ‘God, who is near us.’ May the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of the Eucharist, lead us into the secret of true adoration. Her heart, humble and silent, was always recollected around the mystery of Jesus, in whom she worshipped the presence of God and His redemptive love.”
With peace and prayers in Christ,