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Corpus Christi Article

Praised be Jesus Christ!

Dear Brothers and Sisters in the Lord:

The Feast of Corpus Christi celebrates the True Presence of Jesus Christ in the Holy Eucharist.  Our Blessed Lord said that He IS the True Bread come down from Heaven.  Our Lord taught the crowds that His Flesh is True Food, His Blood True Drink.  The crowds murmured at this teaching.  Our Lord did not retract His words or soften the teaching.  He reinforced it: “Unless you eat My Flesh and drink My Blood you do not have life in you.”  As a result of this “hard saying” many of Our Lord’s disciples left Him and followed Him no longer.  Our Lord did not tell the people that they misunderstood Him to stop the crowds from leaving.  He let the crowds go because they refused to believe and He turned to His Apostles and asked if they would leave as well.  Saint Peter, on behalf of the Twelve, responded “Lord, to whom shall we go?  You have the words of eternal life.” (cf. John 6:35-69)

To fulfill this teaching, at the Last Supper Our Lord took bread and said “This is My Body.”  When supper was ended He took the Chalice and said “This is My Blood.”  The Church has always understood that the Holy Eucharist is no mere symbol or metaphor.  If it were, Our Lord would have been unjust to allow the crowds to cease following Him over a simple misunderstanding.  No, Our Lord meant what He said: He truly gives us His Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity under the appearance of bread and wine at each and every Holy Mass.

At every Mass a miracle takes place.  Ordinary bread and wine are really, truly, completely transformed at the Consecration.  When the Priest says the words “This is My Body” the bread is wholly transformed.  This is why we kneel during the Consecration—to Adore the Second Person of the Most Holy Trinity Who has become Present upon our altar.

Even the smallest visible particle of the Sacred Host is Jesus Christ Our Lord—worthy of our Adoration, reverence, and love.  This is why the Church has been careful about the fragments of the Sacred Host.  In the Traditional Latin Mass the Priest always keeps his forefingers and thumbs joined after the Consecration, lest a small particle be lost.  Traditionally, Holy Communion was always given on the tongue and Communion patens were used during the distribution of Holy Communion to safeguard against losing any particles.  Holy Communion was distributed in this way for well over a thousand years.

In recent years the Church has allowed Holy Communion to be given in the hand.  Even when this is done, great care must be taken to avoid Particles of the Consecrated Host from falling to the ground.  I recently saw a video done by a local Priest-friend of mine that shows that there is significantly higher danger of particles being lost when Holy Communion being given in the hand.  He told me that he plans to show this video during all the weekend Masses at his parish this weekend.  I asked him for permission to link to his video on our parish website.  You can find his video on the homepage of smqoc.com.

The Church allows Holy Communion to be given on the hand in the Ordinary Form of the Mass, and therefore that will continue to be your option.  If you receive Communion in the hand, I invite you to go to watch this short video.  It will make you more aware of the need to be careful of the Consecrated Particles. 

However you chose to receive, we should always receive Our Lord Truly Present in the Holy Eucharist with as much reverence as possible.  Saint Augustine has said that before we eat the Body of Christ, we must first Adore.  Let us Adore Our Lord and Savior Truly Present in the Most Blessed Sacrament of the Altar.  May we always receive Him with all reverence, devotion and love.  O Sacrament Most Holy, O Sacrament Divine, all praise and all thanksgiving be every moment Thine!

May God bless you!  Know of my prayers.  Please offer a prayer for me.

In Jesus and Mary,
Father Charles White