Wednesday, June 22, 2011

We just celebrated Trinity Sunday, confessing our faith in the one, true God, who reveals Himself as three divine persons, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
The second Person of this Most Blessed Trinity, God the Son, became man in Jesus Christ.
And Jesus Christ remains really and truly with us in the Sacrament of His Body and Blood.
So, this Sunday, we celebrate Corpus Christi, the Feast of the Body and Blood of Christ.
Jesus Christ is truly with us at every Mass; we receive Him — body, blood, soul, and divinity — each time we worthily approach Holy Communion; and He remains really present in the Most Blessed Sacrament, reserved in our tabernacles, adored in Eucharistic exposition.
Last week, we bishops met for our annual Spring Meeting, this year in Seattle.  We had a lot of business:  liturgical matters, revision of the Charter to Protect Youth, approval of a defense of fragile human life against physician-assisted suicide, a decision to issue a document to help our priests, deacons, and ourselves preach better . . . plus a lot more.
But the most productive session came on Friday morning.  As usual, we began with the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.  But then we gathered as the Blessed Sacrament was placed in the monstrance on the altar.  There we prayed:  morning prayer from the Liturgy of the Hours; silence; an excellent conference by a brother bishop; silence; opportunity for confession; and closing Benediction.
It was, in my mind, the most productive part of our meeting.  Nearly two hundred bishops, on their knees, in silent prayer, before Jesus, really and truly present in the Holy Eucharist.
As I tip-toed out of the room to stand in line for confession, I heard two of the young hotel workers chatting.
“It’s sure quiet in there,” whispered one of them.  “What are they doing?”
“It’s weird,” replied the other.  “They’re not doing nothing.  They’re all just kneeling there quietly looking at this flat piece of bread in this fancy gold holder.”
He almost got it right . . . except that we believe, with all our heart and soul, that it’s not a “flat piece of bread,” but the second Person of the Blessed Trinity, Jesus Christ, really and truly present in the Sacrament of His Body and Blood.
A blessed Feast of Corpus Christi!