Corpus Christi-REFLECTION

Ghent altarpiece

The Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ [C]
Genesis 14:18-20  +  1 Corinthians 11:23-26  +  Luke 9:11-17
May 29, 2016

“Laud, O Zion, your salvation, / Laud with hymns of exultation, / Christ, your king and shepherd true.”

Last Sunday the Church celebrated the feast of the Blessed Trinity, leading us to meditate upon the very nature of God Himself.  But for all the many descriptions of God that theologians and saints have offered throughout the centuries, none has ever put it better than Saint John the Apostle, who wrote quite simply, “God is love” [1 John 4:8].

Of course, people throughout the world have found many different ways to define love.  In the midst of this confusion, God wants to make known to us the truth.  And we have no better way of meditating upon the manner in which God continually loves us than to celebrate this feast of the Body and Blood of Christ:  Christ, the second divine person of the Trinity who became man for our salvation.

Our God—Father, Son, and Spirit—is not merely a law-giver, who lords over us from heaven the rules that we must follow.  Our God is the best of teachers:  he shows us how to act by His own example.  And though God is certainly loving in all His words and actions, in the Sacrifice of Christ’s Body and Blood on the Cross, we see the perfect fulfillment of His commandments to love our God and our neighbors.  We cannot hope to equal such an offering of love, but we can hope to share more completely in Christ’s offering.  This offering is the one perfect act of self-sacrifice which we see in the crucifix, and which becomes present on the altar at Holy Mass.  This Sacrament of the Eucharist shows us how to fulfill those two commands to love our God and our neighbor, and offers us the strength to do so.