Sometimes life is very difficult and it seems that all our normal rivers of consolation have dried up. Sometimes our family or friends seem far from us, and even our devotions become dry. In times like these, there is no greater source of freedom and joy than Jesus’s Merciful Presence among us in His sacraments. One may need to approach Jesus’s forgiveness in the Sacrament of Penance; but there is no greater joy in the end than Jesus’s Love shown us in the most Blessed Sacrament of the Altar. This is the essence of the Church’s joy in the celebration of Corpus Christi.
One feels this joy in the grandeur of the most beautiful Eucharistic procession and in the quiet embrace of the Lord’s Loving Presence in the warmth of a church lit by the sole fire of the sanctuary lamp. The Church’s faith testifies joyfully: God is here; He is with us in the Eucharist! He has made His dwelling among us sacramentally in the vulnerability of the host and chalice. He has chosen to stay with us, to be eaten by us, to live in our tabernacles. Today he is worshipped and preached and loved in this great Gift of His Love.
As long as we maintain our faith in the Eucharist, nothing can touch us or harm us. The loneliest elderly person, the most forgotten prisoner, the most pain-stricken patient – all of these can experience freedom and peace through the profound wisdom of knowing and loving Jesus Christ in the Most Blessed Sacrament. He touches the lives of all who approach Him, bringing them deeper into the mystery of His Cross and Resurrection.
The feast of Corpus Christi is especially a day to pray for our priests. Priests live in such a way that the Eucharist must be their true intimate love. The Eucharist gives meaning and context to everything the priest does. Indeed, the priest exists to offer the Eucharist. He must love this Blessed Sacrament.
Let us pray today also for those who have never received the Eucharist or who have fallen away from the faith. There is no sadder loneliness than to live in this wretched fallen world without knowing the joy of Jesus’s Real Presence. The Eucharist is truly Heaven on Earth. Let us never take for granted this Gift of Divine Love. May the Heart of Jesus in the Most Blessed Sacrament be praised, adored, and loved, with grateful affection, at every moment, in all the tabernacles of the world, even to the end of time. Amen.
Fr. Joseph Previtali