Corpus Christi – Fr. Dustin Collins
June 22, 2019 – 5:00PM
June 23, 2019 – 11:00AM
Today we celebrate the Solemnity of Corpus Christi which is the Feast of the Body and Blood of Christ.
In the 700s a priest was celebrating Mass in Lanciano, Italy. This priest held doubts in his heart concerning the reality of transubstatiation which is to state that the bread and wine becomes the Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of Christ our Lord. As this priest said the words of consecration change took place in the bread and wine to it physically becoming flesh and blood. To this day many pilgrims come to Lanciano to behold this Eucharistic miracle.
Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI stated: “The way people often simply receive the Holy Sacrament in communion as a matter of course shows that many see communion as a purely ceremonial gesture.”
It was accounted to me that a group of high school youth once had the opportunity to attend the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite. Here the only option of reception of Holy Communion is kneeling and on the tongue. Following the Mass they exclaimed that they did not like it because it was as if we were treating the host as being God because people knelt in its presence and received it with such reverence.
From my perspective it would seem that Benedict XVI’s words ring true and maybe we don’t allow ourself to comprehend that we are not receiving a mere symbol in communion, but rather the Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of Christ our Lord. And so what do I often see: I see those who come at me with the pinchers of a crab trying to pinch our Lord out of my hand, I see those who make a trap door with their hands (hopefully in return our Lord does not fall to the ground), I see those who reach out with one hand as if something else is as important, I see those who attempt to take the host themself as if they were a priest concelebrating the Mass, I see those who come forward chomping on gum, and I see those who walk away with our Blessed Lord without ever putting the host in their mouth.
How do we go from having such reverence for the Eucharist to where we find ourself in this modern age? We need to rediscover reverence for the Eucharist because the reception of our Lord in Holy Communion is not a purely ceremonial gesture. Cardinal Sarah stated: “The most insidious diabolical attack consists in trying to extinguish faith in the Eucharist, sowing errors and favouring an unsuitable manner of receiving it.”
In the Ordinary Form of the Roman Rite the norm for reception of Holy Communion remains on the tongue. Certain areas such as this one has received an indult allowing the reception of communion on the hand. If one must receive on the hand please make sure that you use both hands, your dominant hand goes below the other. Then when the host is placed in your hand take it and quickly place it in your mouth. Keep mind that every fragment of the host contains the totatality of our Lord.
Let us have an increase in our Eucharistic devotion. Hopefully, if we can become convinced that what we receive is the Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of Christ our Lord we will treat what we receive accordingly and allow what we receive to transform our life.
Let us worthily come to the Altar of God and let us worthily receive Him in the Most Holy Eucharist. Surely, if we understand this to be God made Flesh we would not receive Him without first going to confession if we reflect that we are in the state of mortal sin. From this worthy encounter with Him may we desire to take what we receive into the world and live it as today we receive this reminder through our Eucharistic Procession. Here we will take our Lord outside the doors of this Church into the world. Let us come to foster true devotion to the Eucharist for what we behold here is God made Flesh.