The Most Holy Body and Blood of Jesus Christ
Next weekend the Church celebrates Corpus Christi Sunday. “Corpus Christi” is simply Latin for “the Body of Christ.” The feast is a celebration of the great gift of the Eucharist. The Eucharist is the very presence of Jesus Christ. We are in awe of His nearness and generosity. He continually shares with us the gift of His life.
Corpus Christi is one of the great feasts of the Church year. It is often commemorated with a public witness to our belief in the Eucharist. Again this year we will have a Eucharistic Procession after the 10:00am Mass at St. Joseph on June 19th. During this procession, we will take the Eucharist through the streets of Wapakoneta, taking the King of kings and the Lord of lords to the people. Think about everyone passing by who has never met Jesus in the Eucharist. Maybe for the first time in their lives, they’ll be looking eye to eye to Jesus Christ.
In some ways the Eucharistic procession is like a parade, but I’d like to highlight one difference. Normally in a parade the “main attraction” is at the end. For example, during the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade, Santa Claus is at the end of the parade. During a Eucharistic Procession, however, Jesus Christ leads the procession. We all follow Christ in the Eucharist. This is symbolic of our entire lives. We follow Jesus wherever he leads us. Like the Lord led the Israelites out of Egypt, our Lord leads us to heaven.
Next Sunday is also Fathers’ Day. This Eucharistic Procession is a great way for fathers to exercise the way they lead their family in the faith. I strongly encourage fathers to bring their families to the Eucharistic procession. These are the kinds of events that children remember. I fondly remember the Eucharistic processions at my parish growing up. This procession will be a great way for families to join together following our Lord.
Also for the feast next Sunday we will be distributing the Precious Blood of Jesus. For the past few years, due to the pandemic, the chalice has not been offered. Two months ago, we were given permission to distribute the Precious Blood to the people and next week’s feast day seems like an ideal time.
A couple things to note: 1. This is the Precious Blood of Jesus, not wine. During the Eucharistic prayer, the wine is transformed into Christ’s Blood, although it remains under the appearances of wine. 2. If you do not want to receive the Precious Blood, that is ok. Receiving the Precious Blood doesn’t mean that you receive more of Jesus. It is a greater symbolism of the Last Supper to receive both the Body and Blood of Christ. All the grace of the Eucharist is present in the Body alone (or in the Blood alone). 3. Also, I’m not sure how this will go, so it is a test for just this weekend. Covid numbers are up again, which may cause people to be hesitant to receive from the chalice. It is hard to determine how much of the Precious Blood we will need. At all four parishes, there will be two people distributing the chalice. At St. Joseph and Immaculate Conception, before the pandemic, we had four distributors of the chalice. I’m assuming that fewer people will approach the chalice, but I may be wrong. Again we’ll see how this goes.
Please join me in spiritually preparing for this feast day. Let us use this week to remember the Eucharist, turning our minds to this incredible gift of the Body and Blood of the Lord. It is a wonder that He makes Himself so vulnerable in the Eucharist so that we can be near Him. May we always be in awe of this Eucharistic Heart of Jesus!
Sincerely in Christ,
Fr. Sean Wilson