Feast of Corpus Christi Reflection
In Christ our contemplation focuses on the central point of time and space; as we extend our arms and our being in this union, we touch not only the past and the future but reach into that liminal space that is beyond all-time and beyond all space. In the experience of the mystics we come to know that this is sacred, repeated always and everywhere; it is only our focus that is diffused, misdirected, and scattered. The shape of liturgy directs us back into the holy experience.
“Do this in remembrance of me.” With these most ancient and unchanged texts, with the apostles and the Saints, this is the one command of Love that resonates through the ages. Today ‘this’ still takes hold of my life, healing and transforming. At the celebration of the Eucharist, the past and the future are manifested in this present moment, this Eternal Now. Through Christ, my past and my future become present in this Eternal Now to be healed and transformed by the action of Jesus in the Christ event.
As we contemplate the Christ event, the Last Supper and Crucifixion coming together in the one ‘eternal’ moment. This is the Christ event at the centre of history; the birth, death, and resurrection of God of eternity with us, here and now within time and space. This is the threshold into eternity.
This is where we encounter the two that are really one and the same sacrifice. Not the same sacrifice repeated but the one sacrifice, the table of the last supper is the cross. This is given to me as the Way, the process of divinisation that heals and transforms my past to re-create my actions for the purpose of Good and re-directs my future in accordance with God’s eternal plan, spoken in the Word.
This mystery is proposed for our contemplation and adoration; to show that the risen Christ walks among us and guides us toward the Kingdom of God. Today we manifest what Jesus has given us in the intimacy of the Last Supper, because the love of Christ is not confined to the few, but is intended for ALL.
This Communion is stronger than all our little divisions, the com-union of God himself. The word “communion,” which we use to designate the Eucharist, sums up the vertical and horizontal dimension of the gift of Christ. When we “receive communion”; the act of eating the bread of the Eucharist, we enter into communion with the very life of Jesus; from God, through Jesus, to us: a unique communion is transmitted in the Holy Eucharist.
In Christ, in Eucharistic communion, I am transformed into Christ; my individuality, opened up, freed from self-centeredness, and placed in the heart of Christ in the Person of Jesus, who in turn is immersed in the Trinitarian communion.
The Eucharist unites me to Christ and opens me to others; making us members one of another: We are no longer divided, but one unity in him. Eucharistic communion unites me to my neighbour, even to those I consider as enemies, and also to my brothers and sisters who are in every corner of the world.
When we recognise Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament, we come to recognise also our brother and sister who suffers, who is hungry and thirsty, who is a stranger, naked, sick, and imprisoned so that I may commit myself, to their need.
From the gift of Christ’s love comes our special responsibility as Christians in building a more, just and fraternal society. This unity will not be built without God, without true Love.
Because we identify ourselves as members of one family, the same body; the body of Christ, we learn from the Sacrament of the Altar that communion, love is the path of true justice.
When Jesus says: “This is my body which is given to you, this is my blood shed for you and for all”, He accepts his passion out of love, with its trial and its violence, even to death on the cross and by accepting it in this way he transforms it into an act of self-giving.
This is why God wants to continue to renew humanity, history, and the cosmos through this chain of transformations, of which the Eucharist is the sacrament.
Through the consecrated bread and wine, in which his Body and Blood is truly present, Christ transforms us, assimilating us in him: He involves us in his redeeming work, enabling us, by the grace of the Holy Spirit, to live according to his same logic of gift, like grains of wheat united with him and in him.
Do this in remembrance of me…
Was ever another command so obeyed? For century after century, spreading slowly to every continent and country and among every race on earth, this action has been done, in every conceivable human circumstance, for every conceivable human need from infancy and before it to extreme old age and after it, from the pinnacle of earthly greatness to the refuge of fugitives in the caves and dens of the earth.
Men have found no better thing than this to do for kings at their crowning and for criminals going to the scaffold; for armies in triumph or for a bride and bridegroom in a little country church; for the proclamation of a dogma or for a good crop of wheat; for the wisdom of the Parliament of a mighty nation or for a sick old woman afraid to die; for a schoolboy sitting an examination or for Columbus setting out to discover America; for the famine of whole provinces or for the soul of a dead lover; in thankfulness because my father did not die of pneumonia; for a village headman much tempted to return to fetch because the yams had failed; because the Turk was at the gates of Vienna; for the repentance of Margaret; for the settlement of a strike; for a son for a barren woman; for Captain so-and-so wounded and prisoner of war; while the lions roared in the nearby amphitheatre; on the beach at Dunkirk; while the hiss of scythes in the thick June grass came faintly through the windows of the church; tremulously, by an old monk on the fiftieth anniversary of his vows; furtively, by an exiled bishop who had hewn timber all day in a prison camp near Murmansk; gorgeously, for the canonisation of S. Joan of Arc—one could fill many pages with the reasons why men have done this, and not tell a hundredth part of them.
And best of all, week by week and month by month, on a hundred thousand successive Sundays, faithfully, unfailingly, across all the parishes of Christendom, the pastors have done this just to make the plebs sancta Dei—the holy common people of God.
Dom Dix – The Shape of the Liturgy