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Pointing at the bulletin letter's date (link) at left will display it's title.
June 18, 2006
Happy Feast Day Everyone

    This weekend we celebrate the feast of the Body and Blood of Christ.  This feast has a long history in our church.  It originated in the 13th century as the Feast of Body of Christ or more popularly known as Corpus Christi, after a certain Blessed Juliana of Liege, France had a vision telling her that the liturgical calendar was wanting in the feast of the Body of Christ.  With the support of her bishop, the feast was set in place and has been an important feast in our church ever since.  In 1970 the church changed the name to the Body and Blood of Christ.

    The purpose of the feast is to celebrate the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist. One way of showing our belief in the real presence is to have what is called a Corpus Christi procession.  The procession is held outdoors in the full view of everyone passing.  The procession is welled planned and is made to include parish groups such as altar guilds, priests, deacons, religious and the laity.  The consecrated host is placed in a monstrance and is held high during the procession.  The monstrance held by a priest, is often protected by a canopy which is supported by four to six lay men, deacons, or other altar servers.  Incense is generally part of the procession.  All of this is to demonstrate our belief in the presence of Christ in the Eucharist.  

    Why then is this our feast day?  Simply because, if we understand the true meaning of the Eucharist, we are the Body of Christ.  It is true that Jesus is truly present in the consecrated host.  However, Christ is also truly present in us.  Because we are a Eucharistic people, we are truly the Body of Christ. 

    When we come to the altar to receive the Body and Blood of Christ each week, the priest or Eucharistic Minister presents the host and the chalice and says, The Body of Christ, or The Blood of Christ.  Before we accept the gift of Christ’s presence we say, AMEN!  This signifies two things.  One, the word Amen means, Yes, I believe that this is the Body/ Blood of Christ.  Secondly, when we utter the word Amen, it means, I understand and believe that I am the Body and Blood of Christ.  We don’t often think about this second fact.  Perhaps we don’t want to think about it because it simply freightens us to think that our belief in this latter point could mean that we will be asked to respond to the daily experiences in our lives in the same manner Christ would respond.  This could be very challenging.

    Being the Body and Blood of Christ is the greatest privilege we will ever have. We should not run away from this privilege.  It is a reality that enables us to participate in the mission of the church wherever we live.  When we stop to reflect on this fact, we realize that it is a privilege that gives us complete union with God.  God became incarnate through Christ and he continues to be incarnate through us.  We are the physical presence of God to our friends, our neighbors, our co-workers.  We are His hands and feet, his ears and his heart.  Therefore, this privilege comes with a serious responsibility. If we ignore the reality or run away from it, we are literally refusing to cooperate with God.  Of course, being the Body and Blood of Christ does not make us God or equal to Him.  It does bring us into complete union with him however .  And, isn’t that enough for us?  So, Happy Feast Day to All the Brave of Heart!

Lorette P. Nault