We are gathered this week to celebrate the great feast of Corpus Christi, the Body of Christ. This feast reminds us of the great privilege it is, at every celebration of the mass, to enter into the mystery of Holy Thursday. To truly “do this in memory of me.” The Eucharist is indeed the center point of our lives as Catholics. This is the preeminent way in which we enter into the great mystery of Christ’s love for us.
I cast my mind back to 2013 when I was the parish priest at St Josephs Parish in Papanui and we were given then the honor of responding to a diocesan initiative to host 24hr adoration of the Blessed Sacrament in the little chapel at the back of St Gregory’s church. I know that this initiative has transformed many lives and bolstered and protected the faith in our diocese. Surely this is a further reminder of the tremendous power of the Eucharist.
I leave the final word to Pope Benedict in his 2007 Corpus Christi homily: ‘”Today we reaffirm with great joy our faith in the Eucharist, the Mystery that constitutes the heart of the Church. This feast originated for the very precise purpose of openly reaffirming the faith of the People of God in Jesus Christ, alive and truly present in the Most Holy Sacrament of the Eucharist. It is a feast that was established in order to publicly adore, praise and thank the Lord, who continues “to love us to the end”, even to offering us his body and his blood.”