Corpus Christi: The Body and Blood of Christ
Dear friends, fellow members of the Body of Christ!
On the Sundays immediately following the Easter season, the Church celebrates a series of “Feasts of the Lord in Ordinary Time”, highlighting diverse aspects of who God is, and therefore who we are, created in God’s image and likeness. At Pentecost, the Easter season was crowned with the proclamation of our identity as a Spirit-filled people, empowered and sent forth to bear witness to the One Spirit at work in a marvellous diversity of gifts, talents, and service. Last Sunday, as we marked World Environment Day, we recalled our creation in the image of the Trinity: that in our lives, loves, and relationships, in our earth and cosmos, we reflect a God who is mutual, self-giving, overflowing communion of love.
Today, we commemorate the Solemnity of the Body and Blood of Christ. We are a Eucharistic people. In receiving the Body and Blood of Christ, we are transformed from within: we become Christ’s Body and Blood, our lives broken for others, poured out in loving service of all humanity. In this time of pandemic, when so many of us have been deprived of sacramental communion for nearly three months now, how are we called to celebrate this feast?
As I speak to parishioners and others following our online celebrations, I hear that they appreciate them very much, but they still look forward to our being all together again, so that we can celebrate Mass together, pray and sing together, receive communion together. Perhaps this time of imposed sacramental fasting has been for all of us a reminder of how easy it is to take the Eucharist for granted.
And yet, if this is literally Christ's body broken for us, Christ’s blood poured out for us, each day of our lives, we are challenged on this day to recognize both the awesome nature of the gift of the Eucharist, and the challenge which it presents in our own lives as Catholic Christians, to live as his Body in the world. This includes paying attention to those “members of the Body” who are most vulnerable at this time, the victims of racism, of all forms of injustice, those who are sick, isolated, addicted, neglected, or unwanted. All must be treated with respect and dignity.
The archdiocese has issued protocols this week to assist parishes in the various stages of preparation for the eventual re-opening of our churches for personal prayer and public worship. The pastoral team, wardens, and liturgical committee will be studying these documents and forming a team to assist in their implementation in our local context, so that when the government and church authorities give the green light, we will be ready. Stay tuned for further developments. We are also in the process of putting the technology in place so that even when we are able to gather for worship, an online option remains available.
To join us for Mass this Sunday at 10 AM – or if you prefer, to participate in the Mass later in the day, head on over to our Youtube page.
Please keep following us on Facebook, subscribing to our YouTube channel, and visiting the website for regular updates on parish news and events, and to support us with your prayers and offerings.
At the end of the homily this week, we will be listening to a beautiful prayer of St. Teresa of Avila, set to music by John Michael Talbot. May we be not only comforted by its message, but inspired and committed to live it out, so that we can fulfil our vocation to bring the justice, love, and compassion of Jesus to our waiting world, as members of His Body.Christ has no body now but yours No hands, no feet on earth, but yours Yours are the eyes through which He looks compassion on this world Yours are the feet with which He walks to do good Yours are the hands with which He blesses all the world Yours are the hands. Yours are the feet Yours are the eyes, You are His body Christ has no body now but yours No hands, no feet on earth, but yours Yours are the eyes through which He looks compassion on this world Christ has no body now on earth but yours.
God bless you all!
Fr. Raymond Lafontaine, E.V.