It is Corpus Christi, the Solemnity of the Body and Blood of Christ – the sacrament of love, the sacrament which enables us to love one another, to be transformed by the Holy Spirit into Christ-bearers.
Do I love someone purely to love them, or because I am a human being, do I love because I too need love?
Frankly I leave such questions in the heart and hands of Our Blessed Mother, confident she does as mothers do: that if my face is dirty, if my hands hold tight something I am reluctant to share, if my motives are mixed, well mothers are rather good at cleaning dirty faces, unclenching little hands and hearts, teaching sharing, thereby purifying our intent.
In a famous Easter Homily St. John Chrysostom notes how some have spent Lent truly preparing for Easter and Holy Communion, some not so much, how some are purified and holy, some not so much, but he calls everyone forth because Christ IS Risen!
When Mel Gibson’s movie on the Passion came out John Everett ignored my reluctance to go with him to see it as I had already seen it and once was enough, but I went because it was important to him and it was during the second viewing that a scene penetrated my heart: when Jesus meets His mother, battered and bloodied as He is, weighed down with His cross, steps from His execution, He looks at Mary with absolute peaceful, tender love and says to her: “See I am making all things new.”
It was after seeing that film my heart opened to Lucille’s urging, seconded by John, that I move to this city, near to them as family, to live this hermitical life.
St. Paul reminds us that because we participate in, share, the one bread and one cup, we thus are all one body.
Therefore, not just one as in members of the Mystical Body of Christ, but because it is Jesus Incarnate and Risen who, in Holy Communion is not food like ‘regular’ food that my body transforms into myself, rather Jesus as Bread of Life is the REAL food which transforms me into oneness with Him and therefore, like Jesus, I become more truly one with every human being.
Hence, as St. Thomas Aquinas reminds us about the purposeful reality of Holy Mass as the constancy of His love being given to us by Jesus it is at the same time “…to impress the vastness of this love more firmly upon…” our hearts.
Love is God and God gives and we become beloved and the Holy Eucharist is Love Himself gifting Himself to us and this divine love within us urges us to love one another.
In Holy Communion, in the monstrance during Adoration, Jesus is real, His presence is real.
This is His real sacramental presence.
However our Divine Lover likes disguises and makes Himself present to us, if we have heart eyes to see, in others, that is in other human beings, our brothers and sisters, in an old woman and the child.
Yes I met them again, the Grandmother and her little Granddaughter.
After Holy Mass and Holy Communion when I was out in the neighbourhood for some fresh air.
This time they were not in the alley, the little one not in bunny pj’s!
This time both had colour in their cheeks, both were radiant, Grandma had on clean and bright clothes, as did the little one who was carrying a small, bright yellow balloon.
We had a nice chat, the Grandmother and I, the little one just smiled.
What a great mystery, what a great gift.
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