May 29, 2016 — The Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ
The more popular name for today’s Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ is Corpus Christi, which of course in Latin means the “Body of Christ.” The Church has celebrated this feast at this time since it was proclaimed by Pope Urban IV in 1264.
We are asked on this day to concentrate on two expressions of the Body of Christ — the Holy Eucharist and the Church itself. The Catechism of the Catholic Church (#1327) states the importance of the Eucharist quite succinctly and directly: “In brief, the Eucharist is the sum and summary of our faith.” At the center of every Mass is our celebration of the Eucharist. The word “Eucharist” comes from the Greek word eucharistia which means “thanksgiving.” It is through the Eucharist which we receive the Lord’s greatest gift to us, and it should be in thanksgiving and delight which we receive it.
This holy day should also remind us of all those things for which we should be thankful. Gratitude is at the basis of a life of stewardship. It is through thanksgiving for all we have received, especially the Holy Body and Blood of Christ through the Eucharist, that we find the motivation and the commitment to be good stewards.
The Pontiff Emeritus Benedict XVI in one of his writings spoke of the Eucharist in this way: “In the Eucharist a communion takes place that corresponds to the union of man and woman in marriage. Just as they become ‘one flesh,’ so in the Eucharist we all become ‘one spirit,’ one person with Christ.” Today we thank God for the incredible gift to us of the Eucharist.