Corpus Christi: Corresponding to Trinitarian Love
In his Angelus address, Pope Francis said: “the Eucharist is like the ‘burning bush’ in which the Trinity humbly dwells and communicates itself.” The Eucharist is the Sacrament of Trinitarian Love, where God humbly makes himself present to us.
In the Eucharist, God the Father “so loved the world that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God sent the Son into the world… that the world might be saved through him” (John 3:16-17). The Father feeds his children by giving them true bread from heaven, which is Jesus Christ, the Bread of Life (John 6:32), under the appearance of ordinary food. Secondly, God the Son shows us the greater love, that he lays down his life for us on the Cross (John 15:13), re-presented to us in the Sacrifice of the Mass. Finally, God the Holy Spirit bonds us to Jesus Christ in Holy Communion, where we enter into and experience the Father’s love for Christ, Christ’s love for the Father, and their love for each one of us.
We need to correspond to this love. We correspond to the Father’s love by making many acts of faith in the Real Presence of Jesus Christ in the Eucharist. One way we can do this is by stopping by the church sometime during the day to greet our Lord in the tabernacle or to spend some time in silent adoration. It doesn’t have to be for a long period of time, just long enough to show the Father that we believe in the real presence of Christ in the Host: “he who believes has eternal life” (John 6:37,47). By this we experience the Father’s great love for each one of us, and we will sense that he is actively providing for our needs and protecting us from all dangers.
We correspond to the Son’s love for us by attending Holy Mass with great faith and piety. How much it means to our Lord when we go to just one extra Mass during the week. It is a sacrifice, but how can we compare it to the great sacrifice that Jesus made for us by dying for us on the Cross. If he loved us in this way, I can assure you that he will more than repay us for the sacrifice we make by attending Holy Mass. Efforts to attend Mass with greater attention and devotion will manifest that love even more.
And what better way is there to correspond to the Holy Spirit’s love for us in Communion that to receive our Lord well? Making a good confession—cleaning up our soul—embracing a life of virtue, and offering spiritual sacrifices such as work offered to God out of love, invites our Lord into our soul and into our body with an attractive disposition. Frequent confession and fighting temptations to sin, tells our Lord that we are united in heart and spirit to him. Then there will be no barriers to that spiritual oneness as we become one body with him in Holy Communion.
Making Spiritual Communions is a wonderful devotion, wherein we manifest our faith in the Real Presence—thus we feed our soul and prepare ourselves spiritually to receive him. Another way to prepare ourselves to receive him well is by arriving early to Mass and to unite our sacrifices and our intentions to the gifts to be offered on the altar. In this way we offer our body, our work, our efforts to live our faith so that the Holy Spirit may unite that all to Christ at Holy Communion.
Corpus Christi is the feast of our Lord’s Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity really present under the appearance of bread and wine. It is a feast of thanksgiving for the Sacrament of Trinitarian Love for each of us. Let us discover how to correspond to this great gift of Love!
Fr. John R. Waiss
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