I have left some Newsletters from the Saint Mychal Judge parish in Dallas. Help yourself to them.
Today continues our week-long feast of Corpus Christi, Latin for "the body of Christ." There was a bubba visiting Rome a long time ago. He went to communion. And in the Roman Rite, the priest says "Corpus Christi" as he gives the host to the worshiper. Bubba heard "Corpus Christi" and he stepped back a few feet. "No way," he told the priest. "I'm from Amarillo."
I am going to continue a thought that I started at St. Mychal Judge last week. The entire first half of the Christian year is all about the journey of Christ. It starts with Advent and Christmas, and it concludes with Lent, Easter, and the Ascension. Then Trinity Sunday begins the second half of our year, and the second half will be chock full of things about us.
The focus isn't Christ's journey, and it isn't about God's sacrifice. This is about us. This is the practical part of the Christian year, where we concentrate on doing, not just remembering and observing. Should we think about practicing what we preach in the other half of the year? Sure, but that is the clear focus for us between Trinity and Advent.
Okay, the feast of the Body of Christ is in our half of the year. The original feast day for this is in Holy Week: Maundy Thursday. During Holy Week, we are remembering the same thing as we celebrate today. But think of the feeling... during Holy Week it is all about the crucifixion. We remember the first Eucharist 2-thousand years ago. We recall the words of that meal. We recall Judas getting up and leaving. We recall the bravado of Peter, and the shock of all those present.
The feeling we get today is about the sacrament... all about our relationship to "do this in memory of me." We are less involved with the agenda of the original meal. We are completely involved with its essence. The meal of Corpus Christi is here, in Texas. It is today, not a dusty museum.
This feast is all about what we do... how we relate to this mystical connection. Is it bread still? Sure. Is it wine still? Sure. But the host at its most fundamental level is not mere physical food. At Mass, these little discs of wheat and water are charged with a connection that is like a lightening bolt that never moves. No longer physical food, the Sacred Host becomes the bread of angels.
At communion, we join with all the faithful... seen and unseen, from all points, from all of history. And not just here... there is one part of the prayer you will hear in a few minutes that clearly states: "all the worlds which thou hast made." All the worlds-- earth and where-ever else. We don't restrict ourselves to a parochial planet in a minor galaxy.
And as Liberal Catholics, we come to the Body of Christ not merely for the benefit of ourselves. We accept into ourselves the bread of angels for the benefit of all.
We were told to do this, you know. "Do this," He said. "Take and eat ye all," He said. Never has mankind received so clear a directive from so informed a source.