Today we celebrate the Feast of Corpus Christi, the Feast of the Body and Blood of Christ. As we keep this feast today we might ask why do we have this celebration, given that we celebrate the institution of the Eucharist on Thursday, during Holy Week? This is true but the celebration on Maundy Thursday is overshadowed by the solemn nature of Holy Week and the focus on Christ's Passion on Good Friday . So since the 13th century, when it was decreed by Pope Urban IV the Feast of Corpus Christi has been celebrated as a universal feast of the Church.

 Today’s feast then is an opportunity for us to reflect on the wonderful gift we celebrate every Sunday, and at other times too, when we come to Mass. In every Eucharist we receive a gift – the gift of Jesus himself – the gift of his body and his blood. What we receive isn’t a symbol, or a representation, it is truly the gift of Jesus himself, his flesh and his blood.

 This precious gift that Jesus gives us he gives freely and generously, we don’t deserve it, we can’t earn it, but nonetheless that is what, in love, he gives to each of us. Sometimes in life what we receive freely, maybe with little effort involved, we may not always appreciate as much as those things that we have to put effort into receiving, those things we have to work hard for. From time to time then it’s good to stop and think – to stop and think about this gift that Jesus gives to us, the gift of himself which he gives generously, lovingly, without limit.

 So we might think about our disposition when we come to Mass, how do I prepare myself? Is Mass just a duty to be fitted in or is it something I really want to participate in, be truly present to, because I recognise the difference it can, and does, make in my life?

 Coming to Mass on time is important too, and if we come a little early even better, because it shows how we value it, and as well it gives us time to settle down, to prepare, to think about what we are going to celebrate. Every part of the Mass is important, so it doesn’t make sense to leave early, and certainly not to do so all the time. If we were invited out for a meal would we leave immediately after eating and without saying ‘thank you?’ Every part of the Mass is important. So today’s feast is an opportunity to reflect on the wonderful gift of the Eucharist, and to grow in our appreciation of the Lord’s constant goodness to us.

Posted on May 27, 2016 .