Every day we are faced with challenges. Sometimes we succeed! Other days, well, we fail—and we’re humbled by it, aren’t we?
One of the everyday challenges for Christians is the challenge to remove what our culture presents as “nourishment for life,” but what I like to call “junk food.” This includes things like going into debt to have the latest styles, to be popular, to consume pornography and to have intimate relationships with so-called “sexy” men and women for pleasure (but not self-gift), to ignore the poor and to focus on our “bucket lists.” We focus on all of this while not leaving room for the vulnerable and leaving them in harm’s way, when Jesus was actually inviting us to offer a stranger a hand or the whisper of a sincere prayer.
We are challenged by the Gospel to remove these empty calories from our lives. A great daily challenge is to reject this lifeless junk food and to accept the healthy and filling feast that God offers us. How do we do this? First, we invite Jesus more fully into our days and to once again (or for the first time) to center our lives on Christ who has been waiting and who is already alive and active in our lives. Second, we accept our Lord’s invitation to partake in His great feast!
The Great Feast
This Sunday, we as a Church will venerate the Body and Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ. We will solemnly commemorate the Sacrament of Holy Communion, which was instituted by the Lord at the Last Supper. This day is known as Corpus Christi, or the Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ (as it is often called today).
In the Sacrament of the Eucharist, Christ gives us His own body and blood to be offered as a sacrifice that commemorates and renews for all time the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross. This is a great gift that God extends to us and for the salvation of the whole world. Many doubt this gift, but by faith we know it is not impossible by the power of God and is the proof of His infinite love for us.
The Church celebrates this feast as an expression of the Church’s love for the Eucharist and the unending event of our Lord’s sacrifice that continues to transform our lives.
On this Solemnity (and at each Mass), the faithful will partake of Jesus’ Body and His Blood, which is truly and substantially present in the bread and wine. This is transforming, for in the Eucharist Jesus reveals himself to us and offers our existence a new direction. We are united to Him. By feeding on our Lord’s body and blood at the great feast of the Mass, we are welcomed into a communion that has no divisions. We are also cleansed and purified of our sins, and most importantly, love shines into every part of us and every part of our lives. Jesus makes us agents of love by His body and blood and through it restores the dignity that God always willed us to possess. And there is no experience greater or more liberating than when man encounters the living God!
Remember to Look Up From Your Gadgets
Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI tells us in his book The Spirit of the Liturgy that worship and the Eucharist are essential for the right kind of existence in the world. It points us to Heaven—and a life not open to heaven is empty and burdened.
Our happiness is dependent on God in this life and in the next. If we place ourselves above God and live a life that doesn’t adhere to God’s law and the Holy Spirit, thus not ordering our day to day lives conscious of Him, and if we don’t organize our days and events in our lives as realities that come from God that are meant to return to God, we will not be satisfied. We will begin looking for other ways to feel whole and complete. When our lives aren’t ordered in recognition of God, man is degraded, because we are made for that intimate relationship with God…we are made for more! We see this in the Eucharist. God loves us so much that He has given Himself to us to possess and receive, and for us to be in day to day communion with Him.
We must stop looking down at ourselves and focusing on our desires, but we must look up to God and order our lives with Him in it. We must include God. It’s only natural to do so because we are made for Him and nothing else will satisfy. The Eucharist gives us the strength and grace to do this. Jesus is alive and has given us much: the Eucharist gives us a foretaste of Heaven and gives us the peaceful satisfaction of freedom. Jesus is with us and is still offering us peace, freedom and Eternal Life!
Our gazes need to widen. We need to look up from our cell phones and gadgets, where we are bombarded with things that keep us from a wider gaze (including pornography), and work towards having a God-perspective, a vision of the infinite and eternal. When we turn away from God to false gods—pornography and sexual sins as a whole—our freedom collapses. Because we thirst for the divine, if we don’t have the right perspective, we will look to fill our thirst or hunger with junk food and not the great Eucharistic feast.
We need our Lord Jesus Christ in us. He so loves YOU and wants to fill you with His life. Will you let Him?
In a special way this Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ, I especially want to invite parents to remove this so called junk food from your day to day lives and in your homes that keep you, your spouse and children from a widened gaze and God-perspective–a vision of the infinite and eternal. Pornography, sexting, and cyberbullying especially limit our gaze and keep us from our focus being Eternal Life. We ourselves and children are consuming and participating in these harmful activities.
To get informed ourselves and to keep our children safe, we as parents must know what our kids are up to on the internet, and engage in healthy, informed conversations about online threats with them. There is a free online tool to help you do this called CMGConnect Parents!
CMGConnect Parents is a free online course that is quick and easy to use. In less than 20 minutes, it equips parents with the knowledge and tools they need to have positive conversations with their children about sexuality and responsible use of the Internet.
Visit cmgparent.org and get these resources today!