Presence of God – “The eternal tide flows hid in living bread.
That with its heavenly life too be fed …”
(John of the Cross, Poems).
We have gone, step by step, in the course of the liturgical year, from the consideration of the mysteries of the life of Jesus to the contemplation of the Blessed Trinity, whose feast we celebrated last Sunday. Jesus, our Mediator, our Way, has taken us by the hand and led us to the Trinity; and today it seems as though the three Persons Themselves wish to take us back to Jesus, considered in His Eucharist. “No man cometh to the Father but by Me” (John 14:6), Jesus said, and He added, “No man can come to Me except the Father … draw him” (John 6:44). This is the journey of the Christian soul: from Jesus to the Father, to the Trinity; from the Trinity, from the Father, to Jesus. Jesus brings us to the Father, the Father draws us to Jesus. A Christian cannot do without Christ; He is, in the strictest sense of the word, our Pontiff, the great Bridge-builder who has spanned the abyss between God and us. At the end of the liturgical cycle in which we commemorate the mysteries of the Savior, the Church, who like a good Mother knows that our spiritual life cannot subsist without Jesus, leads us to Him, really and truly present in the Most Holy Sacrament of the altar. The solemnity of the Corpus Domini [Body of the Lord] is not just the simple memorial of an historical event which took place almost two thousand years ago at the Last Supper; rather, it recalls us to the ever-present reality of Jesus always living in our midst. We can say, in truth, that He has not “left us orphans,” but has willed to remain permanently with us, in the integrity of His Person in the fullness of His humanity and His divinity. “There is no other nation so great,” the Divine Office enthusiastically sings, “as to have its gods so near as our God is present to us” (Roman Breviary). In the Eucharist, Jesus is really Emmanuel, God with us.
“O God, O Creator, O Spirit of life overwhelming Your creatures with ever new graces! You grant to Your chosen ones the gift which is ever renewed: the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ!
“O Jesus, You instituted this Sacrament, not through any desire to draw some advantage from it for Yourself, but solely moved by a love which has no other measure than to be without measure. You instituted this Sacrament because Your love exceeds all words. Burning with love for us, You desired to give Yourself to us and took up Your dwelling in the consecrated Host, entirely and forever, until the end of time. And You did this, not only to give us a memorial of Your death which is our salvation, but You did it also, to remain with us entirely, and forever.
“My soul, if you wish to penetrate the depths of this mystery, your gaze must be illumined by love! You need to see and understand! Contemplate the Last Supper: see Jesus who knows that He will soon be separated from the body of His humanity, and yet wishing to be united to us forever; contemplate the love by which He institutes this Sacrament which permits Him to be corporeally and forever united to mankind. O inextinguishable love! O love of Christ! O love of the human race! What a true furnace of love! O Jesus, You already saw the death which awaited You; the sorrows and atrocious tortures of the Passion were already breaking Your Heart, and yet You offered Yourself to Your executioners, and permitted them, by means of this Sacrament, to possess You forever as an eternal gift, O You, whose delights are to be with the children of men!
“O my soul, how can you refrain from plunging yourself ever deeper and deeper into the love of Christ, who did not forget you in life or in death, but who willed to give Himself wholly to you, and to unite you to Himself forever?” (St. Angela of Foligno).
Note from Dan: This post on the Solemnity of Corpus Christi is provided courtesy of Baronius Press and contains one of two meditations for the day. If you would like to get the full meditation from one of the best daily meditation works ever compiled, you can learn more here: Divine Intimacy. Please honor those who support us by purchasing and promoting their products.
Art for this post on the Solemnity of Corpus Christi: The Last Supper, Juan de Juanes, birth name: Vicent Joan Macip, 1560s, PD-US author’s life plus 100 years or less, Wikimedia Commons. Father Gabriel of St. Mary Magdalen, mirror from open source material.