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Pastor’s Corner 6.2.2024

Christ’s Presence in the Holy Eucharist

Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ,

Every year the Church gives us the beautiful feast of Corpus Christi to celebrate the wondrous gift our Lord left us on the night before he died. Also known as the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ, this feast honors Jesus Christ, really, truly and substantially present under the appearances of bread and wine. This Presence happens through the change which the Church calls transubstantiation (“change of substance”), when at the Consecration of the Mass, the priest says the words which Christ Himself pronounced over bread and wine, “This is My Body,” “This is the chalice of My Blood,” “Do this in memory of Me.”

The Catholic Church honors Christ’s Presence in the Holy Eucharist with a special feast owing to St. Juliana of Liège, a 13th-century Norbertine canoness from Belgium. She had a great love for the Eucharist. When she was 16, she had a vision in which the Church was a full moon with a dark spot. The dark spot signified that the Church was missing a feast dedicated solely to the Body and Blood of Christ. Even though she had this vision several times, St. Juliana didn’t think that she could do anything to help institute this feast. Therefore, she kept it a secret for many years. Once she was elected prioress, she finally told her confessor, who in turn told the bishop. This eventually led to the universal feast of Corpus Christi.

The Eucharist is the “source and summit of the Christian life” (Second Vatican Council, Lumen gentium, no. 11). In the Eucharist, Jesus Himself re-presents for our benefit His Sacrifice on Calvary (Luke 22:19-20; 1 Cor. 11:26-29), gives Himself to us in Holy Communion (Exodus 16:4, 35; John 6:1-14, 48-51), and remains among us until the end of the age (Luke 24:13-35; Mt. 28:18-20). He comes to us in this humble form, making Himself vulnerable, out of love for each one of us. Yet, as God Himself, the Body and Blood of Christ deserves our utmost respect and love, as well as our adoration.

Sincerely yours in Christ Jesus, the Way, the Truth and the Life,

(Taken from )