Feast of the Most Holy Body & Blood of Christ
June 18. 2017

FROM THE TEACHING OF THE MOST REV. PAUL S. LOVERDE BISHOP OF ARLINGTON ON THE FEAST OF CORPUS CHRISTI. [Let me begin with a story. The scene is a student-filled ballroom of a convention hotel. A well-known priest-theologian had finished his talk. A young student asked him this question: "Why are you a Catholic?" The priest answered: "Because of the Resurrection." The student pressed the question: "That explains why you are a Christian, but why are you a Catholic?" "Because of the Eucharist," he replied. Yes, the Eucharist is essential to Catholic belief and fundamental to Catholic life. Today, we are celebrating the Solemnity of Corpus Christi, an opportunity to focus our attention on this basic mystery of our faith, the Eucharist, and to explore the meaning of the Eucharist in our worship and in our daily living. What is the Eucharist? The Eucharist is both a sacrament and a sacrifice. The Eucharist is a sacrament, an outward sign in and through which we meet Jesus who shares His life of grace with us .In this Sacrament of Eucharist, we do meet Jesus Himself who comes to us under signs of bread and wine to nourish and strengthen us for our journey through life. We see with human eyes what looks like bread and wine. We see with eyes of faith, not bread and wine, but the Risen Living Lord Jesus. The Eucharist is a sacrifice, the re-presentation or re-living in an un-bloody manner of Christís Death on Good Friday and of His Resurrection on Easter Sunday.
Imagine! The Lord Himself, Body and Blood, soul and divinity, comes to dwell within us! That is why we worship the Lord through the Eucharist. That is why regardless of how good or bad the music may be, how wonderfully or poorly the priest preaches, how close or distant we feel to the priest, what the motives are of those around us, we should come to celebrate the Eucharist each Sunday and Holy Day. No one and no thing should be an obstacle to our coming to be one with the Lord and, through that oneness, to find the strength we need to live life, with faith, hope and love. Because the Real Presence of Jesus continues, we believe that He is present in a special way in the tabernacle in our churches. We ought to visit the Blessed Sacrament often.] We visit and we receive the True Body and the true Blood of Jesus Christ under the appearances of bread and vine. This is our greatest treasure, and thatís why we pray with affection: O SACRAMENT MOST HOLY, O SACRAMENT DIVINE, ALL PRAISE AND ALL THANKSGIVING BE EVERY MOMENT THINE. AMEN.  Bishop Loverde