This Sunday we celebrate the Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ, otherwise known as Corpus Christi. This is a solemnity that is transferred from Thursday (the day on which the Holy Eucharist was instituted) to Sunday in the United States and other countries. In Rome, however, it was celebrated this past Thursday.
As Catholics we are called to look at and adore the great gift that we possess in the Holy Eucharist. We believe in the Real Presence of Christ in the Holy Eucharist. Let me be very direct and clear: not all Christian faiths believe the same thing about the Holy Eucharist. Some believe that the Eucharist is merely a symbol or blessed bread. Others denominations believe that the bread and wine become Christ while the service is going on but return to bread and wine after the service is ended. Some hold that the Eucharist is a sacrament, while others do not. There are many varying points of view.
The Catholic Church believes and teaches that the bread and wine truly become the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Christ. It is truly Christ present on our altars and in our tabernacles. We take Christ at His word when the words of consecration are spoken: “This is my Body . . . This is my Blood.”
That’s why it’s frustrating to me that some people can be so cavalier about this essential belief of the Catholic faith. For some to say things like: “It’s all the same” or “One religion is as good as another” or “I’ll just go over to the nearby Protestant church” misses the point about what we have held as a core belief in the Catholic Church: We possess the Real Presence of Christ in the Holy Eucharist.
Yes, it’s good for us to get down on our knees to adore and worship Christ truly present at every Mass and in our tabernacles. He promised to remain with us always: “And behold, I am with you always, until the end of the age.” (Mt. 28:20)
We believe that he kept this promise in the Holy Eucharist.
Fr. Ed NamiotkaPastor