This is Jesus, Our Lord!

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Officially, the Easter Season closes with the Feast of Pentecost: Our frequent “Alleluias” cease and vestments for weekday liturgies return to green. We are back to “Ordinary Time” in our Liturgical celebrations. But for the two Sundays after Pentecost we continue to celebrate special feast days: Trinity Sunday (last week) and today’s feast ‘The Body and Blood of Christ (Corpus Christi in the “old” days.) I’ve heard it said that today’s feast was appointed so that we could joyfully celebrate the awesome miracle of Christ’s gift to us in the Eucharist without the sadness of Good Friday looming over us. Do we truly appreciate the magnificent gift Christ has given us?

Jim Cowan, a musician from Steubenville, Ohio has penned two of the most beautiful Eucharistic hymns I’ve had ever heard. When I listen to them, I often am brought to tears even though I’ve listened to them over and over.

The Cup of Life begins ‘Who am I that I should receive! The Cup of Life outpoured, the Bread of Life, the Blood of Christ, the Body of my Lord.”

The second hymn begins: “This is Jesus Emmanuel! God is with us in this Sacrament! Come receive Him, adore Him! This is Jesus, our Lord!”

Think about these words.

Who are we that we should receive the Body and Blood of Christ? We are His children! He wants us to be totally united in Him and with each other. This is the sacrament of unity which He himself gave us and instructed us to celebrate in memory of Him. He promised to be always with us and in the Spirit and in this sacrament. He always will be. Do we consciously prepare ourselves–spiritually, mentally, and physically? Do we receive Him with faith, trust, and joy? Do we receive Him reverently or are we so casual that our reception of the Eucharist is as routine as every other activity of our life?

Jesus instructed His disciples to “go and teach all nations” about Him. Our frequent and fervent reception of His Body and Blood is one way to gain the strength to carry out our mission to love one another and to bring His kingdom to others. I once read of a group of men, imprisoned for their faith. One was a priest. These men wanted the Eucharist so much that on a rotating basis, each gave up his daily ration of bread and the priest said Mass secretly, consecrating that bread and sharing the Body and Blood of Christ with all of them.

Do we yearn for the Eucharist that much? Remember: “This is Jesus our Lord. Come receive Him, adore Him. This is Jesus our Lord!”

Linda Caminiti