Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ
Sue passed away, so her husband, Robert, called 911. The operator said that they’d send someone out right away. The operator asked,
Where do you live?
At the end of Eucalyptus Drive.
The operator asked,
Can you spell that for me?
There was a long pause……… Finally, Robert said,
How about if I carry her over to Oak Street, and you could pick her up there?
29 years ago, on June 2nd, I celebrated my very first Mass at my home parish of St. Peter in Auburn, NH. It happened to be on the very same feast that we celebrate this weekend, The Most Holy Body and Blood of Jesus. I have had the honor and privilege of celebrating thousands of Masses since then! Over the course of these past 29 years of ministry, there have been times that after some very long days, Mass still needed to be celebrated, say on a Sunday evening, and I really had wished I had two curets that would be there to take my place. We all know those days are long gone! But, once you get to celebrate even the last Mass after that long weekend, you walk away feeling blessed!
During the last 2 months during this pandemic, Mass was not being celebrated with the public in attendance. Of course, I still celebrated the weekday Masses alone, and also the recorded weekend Mass as well. Two weeks ago, everyone was invited to simply come to church on a Sunday morning at 10:30am to receive the Holy Eucharist. The amount of people that showed up was amazing. I expected maybe 30 people, when in reality over 250 people showed up! Many people were moved to tears to simply be able to receive Jesus. How much they missed his presence within the Eucharist, how much they just simply needed him through this most terrible time of our existence.
It was a life changing moment for me, Deacon Steve, and a few other people that were here to help that morning.
Sort of like that joke — Yeah, I wouldn’t be able to spell eucalyptus if my life depended upon it. I had to be brought to a more simpler scenario to just understand.
The concept of the True Presence of Jesus being in the consecrated bread and wine is a real stumbling block for people who don’t believe as we do. What I like to remind people of is that when we receive Jesus in the Body and Blood of the Eucharist, not only are we sharing in the humanity of Jesus where we are nourished, but most especially, we are sharing in his divinity, along with the Father and the Holy Spirit, in which we are washed clean and purified! What does it mean to share in divinity?
I think about all the people in my life, that have since died, that have had a major impact on me. I think about them being with God each and every time I receive the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ. And this truly brings me comfort, and I hope you feel the very same way.
The Eucharist brings about “Community”, a common unity. Let the gift of the Body and Blood of Jesus make us all aware that we are truly brothers and sisters. That we not only must honor and serve God, but also value and take care of one another! Amen.