As the Church celebrates Corpus Christi, the Body and Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ, my thoughts return to ponder the mystery of the true presence of Jesus in the consecrated Bread and Wine on the Altar. There, before us, the Agnus Dei, the Lamb of God that we read about in the Book of Revelation, chapter five. The Lamb slain:
” Then I saw standing in the midst of the throne and the four living creatures and the elders, a Lamb that seemed to have been slain…When he took the scroll, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb. Each of the elders held a harp and gold bowls filled with incense, which are the prayers of the holy ones.
They sang a new hymn: “Worthy are you to receive the scroll and to break open its seals, for you were slain and with your blood you purchased for God those from every tribe and tongue, people and nation…”
I looked again and heard the voices of many angels who surrounded the throne and the living creatures and the elders. They were countless in number, and they cried out in a loud voice: “Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power and riches, wisdom and strength, honor and glory and blessing.”
Are we not called to give equal reverence to our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament? Does not the Church teach that Jesus is fully present there on the Altar?
There’s something about coming before the Lord, trusting He is truly before us, calling us back to full communion with Himself. And, it has been my experience in these moments, I am led to see, I have no room for boasting, but rather I find my own smallness, my weakness, my inconsistencies reflected in God’s perfection. What grace to pray, ‘Jesus, Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world, have mercy on me.’
Approaching this feast, the Lord in the Blessed Sacrament, the words of Saint Paul come to my mind:
” …about myself I will not boast, except about my weaknesses.
Although if I should wish to boast, I would not be foolish, for I would be telling the truth. But I refrain, so that no one may think more of me than what he sees in me or hears from me because of the abundance of the revelations. Therefore, that I might not become too elated, a thorn in the flesh was given to me, an angel of Satan, to beat me, to keep me from being too elated.
Three times I begged the Lord about this, that it might leave me, but he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is made perfect in weakness.” I will rather boast most gladly of my weaknesses, in order that the power of Christ may dwell with me. “
Therefore, let us come before the Lord today, acknowledging our deep need for Him; our deep desire to give Him the praise due to Him; our deep longing for forgiveness and healing that can only come from God; for a deep faith that says, “Jesus, I believe you are truly present here, in the Blessed Sacrament on the Altar.”
My Lord Jesus Christ,
I believe that You are really here in this Sacrament.
Night and day You remain here compassionate and loving.
You call, You wait for, You welcome everyone who comes to visit You.
I thank You, Jesus my Divine Redeemer for coming upon the earth
for our sake and for instituting the Adorable Sacrament
of the Holy Eucharist in order to remain with us until the end of the world.
I thank You for hiding beneath the Eucharistic species
Your infinite majesty and beauty, which Your Angels delight to behold,
so that I might have courage to approach the throne of Your mercy.
I thank You dear Jesus, for having become the priceless Victim,
to merit for me the fullness of heavenly favors.
Awaken in me such confidence in You that their fullness may descend
ever more fruitfully upon my soul.
I thank You for offering Yourself in thanksgiving to God
for all His benefits, spiritual and temporal which He has bestowed on me.
Grant me grace and perseverance in your faithful service. Amen.
Are You a Man or A Mouse? A Reflection on the Solemnity of Corpus Christi, by Msgr. Charles Pope
Whispers in the Loggia: Bread of Angels by Rocco Palma
Beginning to Pray: Christ’s Real Presence and true Christian Life: never static, always dynamic, by Anthony Lilles