Today (Sunday, June 14) is our Roman Catholic feast of Corpus Christi in which pause to appreciate we give thanks for the wonderful gift of the holy Eucharist.
I’d like to pause to reflect for a moment on what we Catholics believe — or say we believe — about communion.
It is stumbling block for many – not only for many Protestants but many a Catholic who never really gets it because they don’t let it transform their life into common-union.
And, um, I know some priests who don’t get it or live it either.
And I’m not so sure the church gets it because with an all-celibate, all-male clergy, there will be fewer and fewer priests which means that there will be fewer Catholic communities that will have Mass.
As for me, I crave the holy Eucharist. It would be very hard for me to live without it.
Here’s what I believe and (try to) live:
Communion means union. Closeness and intimacy with our Lord.
And with one another.
In other words, communion is love.
But do we really believe? Do we want to accept the implications of that closeness?
Do we want to be transformed by Jesus’ love?
Do we want to live in common – union with our brothers and sisters?
In the South sixty years ago black folk had to sit in the back of the Church.
Is that communion? Is that honoring the Body and Blood of Christ?
Isn’t it a lie to receive communion and not want to live in common
with all God’s children? How dare we!
It is given to us so that we might become that gift for others.
To become the Real Presence of Christ in the world.
When I receive our Lord in holy communion I pray:
Lord Jesus, You became — You are still — bread-broken
and blood-poured out for the sake of the world.
As I receive the precious gift of the Eucharist
may I become Your body
and Your body become mine.
May Your blood course through my own blood stream.
I want to be transformed by my communion with you, Lord.
Transformed from my self-centered lusts and angers and petty jealousies
Let me become Your Body-broken
and Your Blood-poured-out
into a world that needs You
be honor and glory and praise
this day and forever!
So be it! Amen!
priest /writerPhotos taken from my Mass of Thanksgiving for the forty years of my priesthood May 24, 2009 and over Fort Lauderdale.