Sunday, June 17, 2007

The Feast of Corpus Christi

1. St. Thomas refers to the Blessed Eucharist as the greatest of all Jesus Christ's miracles.

All the other miracles were accomplished in an instant or, at the most, protracted over a few years, like the raising to life of Lazarus, or the widow's son at Naim. The Eucharist, on the contrary, is a miracle which continues throughout the centuries and all over the world.

The other miracles, moreover, gave us a part of the power and goodness of Jesus. But the Eucharist gives us Jesus Himself with all His graces and gifts. It was not enough for Our Lord to offer Himself on Calvary as a propitiary host for our sins. It was not enough for Him to shed His precious Blood for our redemption. It was not enough to give us the Church to instruct us and to guide us on the way to Heaven.

He wished to give us Himself in addition. He wished to remain with us as our companion on our mortal pilgrimage and as the spiritual nourishment of our souls.

The power of Jesus is as infinite as His charity. Nevertheless, in the Eucharist this power and charity are, as it were, exhausted. Only the immense love of God could conceive such a miracle.

When we consider this mysterious gift which Jesus has given to each of us, we cannot say that it is too difficult for us to conquer the perverse inclinations of our corrupted nature and that we lack the strength to continue on the way of perfection. Everything is possible with Jesus.
I can do all things in him who strengthens me. (Phil. 4:13)

Let us go to Jesus and take our nourishment from Him. Then, like St. Paul, we shall be able to do everything in Him Who is our strength and our support. In union with Jesus we shall be able to conquer sin and to become holy.

2. Human words cannot express the beauty and depth of the passage from the Gospel which to-day's liturgy of the Holy Mass offers for our meditation. It is the passage in which Jesus promises the institution of the Blessed Eucharist.

My flesh is food indeed, and my blood is drink indeed. He who eats my flesh, and drinks my blood, abides in me and I in him. As the living Father has sent me, and as I live because of the Father, so he who eats me, he also shall live because of me. This is the bread that has come down from heaven; not as your fathers ate the manna, and died. He who eats this bread shall live forever. (John 6: 56-59)

No human being could have visualised or uttered such words. Only the God-Man could have spoken them.

Even outside the Eucharist God communicates with us, descending with His grace into our souls. We feel that He is present; we experience His supernatural influence and inspiration, His appeals to us to do good. But in the Eucharist we have far more than this. We have the God-Man as the food of our souls, through which we live His own life, so that like St. Paul it is no longer we who live, but Christ Who lives in us.

This intimate and mysterious union has been compared with the unfathomable union in which the Son of God lives the life of His heavenly Father, because by means of the Eucharist we should live the supernatural life of Jesus. As a result of this transformation there can be no further place in us for sin, nor for disordered affections and desires, but only for virtue and for God.

3. This is the Feast of Jesus in the Blessed Eucharist. Let us enkindle in ourselves a more intense faith and love; let us adore and love Him on behalf of those who neglect to do so. Let us resolve to live an Eucharistic life.

Ejaculation: I adore You at every moment, 0 living Bread from Heaven, 0 most wonderful Sacrament.