The Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ (Corpus Christi)

The Chinese Communist Revolution was a social and political revolution that culminated in the establishment of the The Peoples Republic of China in 1949. For the preceeding century, China had faced escalating social, economic, and political problems because of Western imperialism and Japanese imperialism and the decline of the Quing dynasty.  One of the objectives of the Communist party was to get rid of all traces of Christianity. In one of the parishes they locked the Parish Priest in a house near the church and they ransacked the church, they ripped out the tabernacle and threw the consecrated hosts scattering them all over the ground. The Parish priest was deeply upset but there is nothing he could do. At nighfall he saw the shadow of a 13 year old girl, whom he knew from the parish, and she came and knelt down taking communion with her mouth. Since back then she could only receive communion once a day, she came back every night to receive another host. The priest knew how many hosts were in the tabernacle and the last night she came, she accidently knocked over something and two soldiers heard the noise and came and killed her with the butts of their rifles. Shortly after my ordination to the priesthood, 43 years ago I was on a visit to the Discalced Carmelites in Avila, one of the cloistered nuns asked me: ‘Father what do you feel when you have Jesus in your hands at mass? This question made me more grateful for the great gift of my priesthood and the great gift of the Eucharist. Most of us have made our communion many years ago, and today we have the children who made their first comminon this year, and no doubt we received Jesus with great joy. But maybe time has had its effect, maybe we have lost something of that love and respect.  Like anything that is repeated over and over again, there is a danger that it may become just a ritual.  The Eucharist is God’s greatest gift to all of us, yet so many Catholics today do not believe in the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist. I remember a talk in Rome of one of the personal secretaries of St. Pope John Paul 11; he told us that the Pope served his mass as a preparation for Pope’s own Mass. St. Mother Theresa spent a lot of time in front of the Blessed Sacrament. On one occasion she was visiting New York and she had this jam packed agenda, and she wasn’t very young at this time. The Cardenal, who was accompanying her was astounded at her energy; ‘Mother Theresa where do you get all you energy from?’ From Jesus in the Eucharist. It would be great if our next communion would be as loving and as fervent as our first communion. There is nothiing more that Jesus would like better.