Corpus Christi - The Feast of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ

Today we celebrate another high feast and another high mystery of our faith, Jesus Christ, Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity, really and truly present in the Sacrament of the Eucharist. This Sacrament of the Body and Blood of Christ is a real and true participation in the inner life of God, a foretaste of heaven, a baby step along the journey towards complete union with the Lord our God.

To celebrate this feast and to talk of these mysteries, however, is painful in our present situation because of our separation from one another. But let today be an occasion of yearning, of hunger and thirst to receive Jesus Christ once more in the Eucharist, and to be united once again as the Body of Christ, the Church.

I mentioned already that to receive Jesus Christ in the Eucharist is a step in the journey towards union with God, but it is also a step towards union with one another. The Eucharist is what binds the Church together, it is the means by which we are united with other Catholics in these towns in North Devon. It is how we are united with the Bishop. It is how we are united to the oppressed Catholics of China and of other places in the world where the Church is not free. It is how we are united with the Successor of Peter, Pope Francis. Indeed, it is only through the Sacrament of the Eucharist that we can truly be called Catholics, that the Church can truly be called Universal, and that we can call the Church Holy despite our sinfulness.

The Eucharist is all these things and so many more besides because to receive the Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus Christ in the Eucharist is to unite oneself with the sacrifice of that same Jesus Christ on the Cross. And it is from that Cross that everything flows.

So as we head into another week of separation, let us remember that Great Sacrament which binds us together into one, let us be reminded of the Sacrament which makes us the Church, One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic. And let us really and truly hunger for that union with one another again, so that we may hunger and thirst ever more deeply for the Lord our God.

Reflection from Fr. James Barber