On this last Sunday of June, the Church celebrates the Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ (aka Corpus Christi). We are called to reflect upon our intimate relationship with Jesus who invites us to partake of His Body and Blood as Eucharistic food for the journey. The Eucharist is the source and the summit of our very lives as Catholic Christians. Everything we are, everything we do, flows from our encounter with Christ at the Mass. In turn, all that we do should lead us back to the Eucharistic feast each and every week. Moreover, the Eucharist prepares us for our encounter with God at the banquet feast in heaven.
The Eucharist then is the reason for our existence. Our lives as Catholics make no sense unless the Eucharist is an intimate and constant part of our daily existence. The Eucharist is “why” we are as Catholic Christians. On this day, we give thanks (the word Eucharist means thanksgiving in Greek) to God for His many blessings to us. At the same time we acknowledge our need to become even closer to God in our prayer life and in how we live out our lives in service to one another.
It is my hope and prayer that each one of us may become more of a son or daughter of God by the way in which we cooperate with God’s grace through our participation in the Eucharist. The old adage “you are what you eat” is an apt metaphor for what we are doing when we celebrate the liturgy: By consuming the Eucharist, allowing the words of the Mass to permeate our being, and then living out the mystery hopefully, we become more Christ-like. We are transformed by the Eucharist, just as the bread and wine are trans-substantiated (changed in substance) into the Body and Blood of Christ.