May the Peace of Christ be with you on this Solemnity of The Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ. The Archdiocese of Boston concludes the Year of the Eucharist this weekend. This special time of emphasis lasted nearly one and one half years due to COVID. The Year of the Eucharist officially concludes this weekend with a Eucharistic Congress hosted by Cardinal O’Malley. All were invited. I believe only a few from our parish were able to attend. I am convinced of the urgent need to maintain our focus on the Eucharist. We will continue our own Eucharistic emphasis here at Saint Mary parish. Every time we share the joyful moments of First Holy Communion during Mass, I see the need to continue our focus as a Eucharistic people. It is a moving experience to witness a child receive the Body and Blood of Christ for the first time. I see the life of Christ in them and in their families at each First Holy Communion. God’s presence and His grace are clear and truly glorious in these moments.
“Do this in remembrance of me.” We heard these words in today’s scripture from the first Letter of Saint Paul to the Corinthians. They are familiar to us. These exact words are proclaimed each time we gather together for the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. They are the words of our Lord as he presents himself to us in His Body and Blood. This is a command from our Lord. We must receive anew each time we gather in worship during Mass. These are the words that we need to form our thoughts and our actions as we journey through life on earth.
I ran across a reference from a T.S. Elliot poem that quotes a phrase from Dante’s Divine Comedy: “In his will is our peace.” This command is indeed his will for each of us. It is also our source of peace, of union with God, of new life.
There is much to say on this truth. For now, I only want to say that our well-being, our living life well or maybe just being well depends on the Eucharist. This is his will for us. This is his love for us. This is the most important order in our lives. Everything good springs from the Eucharist. When we make the Eucharist the priority we too will know the mystery of the multiplication of the loaves and fish. We hear in the Gospel a foreshadowing of the mystery of Christ’s presence in the Eucharist and the mystery of the life of a Eucharistic people. He will multiply His grace in our lives in unimaginable ways if we give him our small offering of our lives. We are the mystical body of Christ in the world. But this mystical body is first of all the Eucharist. In our baptism we are anointed as priests. The purpose of all priests, the high priest Melchizedek in Genesis, the common priesthood of all the baptized, and ordained priesthood, is to give one’s life in worship of God. Worship must be the priority for the mystical body of Christ. Just as He offers His Body and Blood for us in the sacrifice of the cross we too offer our lives in worship. This is what it means to be the Body of Christ.
I wish to share a short reflection published by the Oblates of the Virgin Mary near the beginning of the Year of the Eucharist. It includes a quotation from Saint John Paul II.
“THE CHURCH DRAWS HER LIFE FROM THE EUCHARIST.”
“Pope St. John Paul II wrote these words in 2003 to express the truth that the making of the Church is not of human origin. When the faithful gather around the altar for the celebration of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass they are drawn by and for the Eucharist and become, not a social club, but the Church. It is the Eucharist, the Real Presence—Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity—of Jesus Christ in the Holy Sacrament that makes us who we are as a body. The Church is a Communion. We are what we do. Faith in and participation in the celebration of the Eucharist is why we do all that we do in this pilgrimage of life. In the Eucharist we find the source and summit of our faith, our hope and our love as Catholics.” (Reprinted with permission from Oblates of the Virgin Mary at St. Francis Chapel / www.stfrancischapel.org)
Together we move, grow and journey as the mystical Body of Christ. I am grateful to be part of this Eucharistic community, the Church, here at St. Mary and encourage you to continue to focus on the Eucharist. The bulletin will continue to present weekly Eucharistic reflections for our journey.
“Do this in remembrance of me.”