Thursday, June 3, 2010

We are Living Monstrances

When you look at a crucifix, you see how Christ loved you 2000 years ago. When you look at the Eucharist, you see how Christ loves you today (Mother Teresa)

In this celebration (June 3rd - The Solemnity of Corpus Christi) we proclaim our belief in the Real presence of Jesus Christ in the Holy Eucharist. We also proclaim that same Jesus lives within each one of us who are baptized into His Body, the Church. In the Holy Eucharist we receive the Divine Host whom we carry in procession. Through our Baptism he has taken up residence within each one of us. We carry Him into the real world just as we carry the monstrance into its streets today. When we process we proclaim that the Lord continues to come into the world, through us.

St. Thomas noted: "Material food first of all turns itself into the person who eats it, and as a consequence, restores his losses and increases his vital energies. Spiritual food, on the other hand, turns the person who eats it into Itself, and thus the proper effect of this sacrament is the conversion of man into Christ, so that he may no longer live for himself, but that Christ may live in Him. And as a consequence it has the double effect of restoring the spiritual losses caused by sins and defects and of increasing the power of the virtues".

This celebration reminds me of the call to continuing conversion, the universal call to holiness. Each of us who bear the name Christian are to become more like the One whom we love and in whom we live. He comes to dwell within us and we live our lives now in Him. We are "living monstrances", enthroning the Lord in our "hearts", which is, in biblical language, the center of the person. In fact, the entire Trinity takes up residence within us and, through that life in the Church and participation in the Sacraments we can live in the Trinity. This is the mystery of what we call communion.

Jesus told his disciples "Amen, amen, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you do not have life within you." We who have been given the bread of angels do have His Life within us;- the very life of the God who is Father, Son and Holy Spirit - a communion of Divine Persons in the Perfect unity of Perfect love.

We have received the Bread of Heaven. Let us become what we consume. On this Feast of Corpus Christi, as we march through the Streets of the world lifting Jesus Christ enthroned, let us say"Yes" to the invitation to become "living monstrances". Let the consuming fire of God's love purify us so that we can now be used to reveal His presence to a world waiting to be born anew.

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