The Solemnity of Corpus Christi

As the preparation to the Solemnity of Corpus Christi, we suggest that you reflect on the passages from the Letter of Pope John Paul II on the 750th Anniversary of this Solemnity:

Outside the Eucharistic celebration, the Church is careful to venerate the Blessed Sacrament, which must be reserved… as the spiritual centre of the religious and parish community (Paul VI, Mysterium fidei, n. 68). Contemplation prolongs Communion and enables one to meet Christ, true God and true man, in a lasting way, to let oneself be seen by Him and to experience His presence. When we contemplate Him present in the Blessed Sacrament of the altar, Christ draws near to us and becomes more intimate to us than we are to ourselves. He grants us a share in His divine life in a transforming union and, in the Spirit, He gives us access to the Father, as He Himself said to Philip: He who has seen Me has seen the Father (Jn 14:9). Contemplation, which is also a Communion of desire, intimately associates us with Christ, and in a very special way associates those who are prevented from receiving it.

Remaining in silence before the Blessed Sacrament, it is Christ totally and really present whom we discover, whom we adore and with whom we are in contact. However, it is not through the senses that we perceive Him and are close to Him. Under the appearances of bread and wine, it is faith and love which lead us to recognise the Lord, He who fully communicates to us the blessings of the Redemption which He accomplished, He, the Master, the Good Shepherd, the Mediator most pleasing to the Father (Leo XIII, Mirae caritatis).

It is invaluable to converse with Christ and, leaning against Jesus’ breast like His beloved disciple, we can feel the infinite love of His Heart. We learn to know more deeply the One who gave Himself totally, in the different mysteries of His divine and human life, so that we may become disciples and in turn enter into this great act of giving, for the glory of God and the salvation of the world. Following Christ is not an outward imitation, since it touches man at the very depths of his being (Veritatis splendor, n. 21). We are called to learn from Him, to let the Spirit act within us and to fulfil the mission entrusted to us.

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