Poorest of Species

In the first two weeks after Pentecost, after the Easter season, Holy Mother Church celebrates two great mysteries of our faith. Last week we celebrated the Solemnity of the Holy Trinity and today we celebrate Corpus Christi – the Holy Body and Blood of Jesus Christ. The actual feast day is the first Thursday after the Solemnity of the Holy Trinity; however our Bishops have moved it to Sunday so more people can celebrate.  The reason for it being celebrated on a Thursday is, of course obvious, Christ instituted the Eucharist on the night before His death on Good Friday – Holy Thursday.

It is a day when we publically proclaim the source and summit of our Faith, Jesus Christ in the Holy Eucharist.  The Sacrament of the Divine Pasch. The Sacrament of Death and Resurrection.  St. John Paul the Great said ‘The Sacrament of Bread and Wine, of the poorest of species, which become our greatest treasure and wealth.[1] He also called it the Sacrament of communion of souls with Christ in the Holy Spirit.

Today, once a year Catholics take to the street to proclaim this gift.  Processions led by our Lord are happening across the world, and each year more churches are participating.  This afternoon we followed our priests and deacons and with hymns of praise as we walked the streets with Christ held high.  We followed our shepherd; we journeyed to the people with our Lord.

Though we publically and corporately process with Christ once a year we are called to do this individually every day.  It is up to each of us to live our lives with Christ held high for all to see.  In our homes, our schools, our work, and our public spaces we are called to witness to our Lord’s great commission: ‘go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.[2]

Christ did the same while on earth.  Jesus walked the Holy land for three years witnessing to His Father’s message wherever He went.  He proclaimed the good news in the streets, the temple, the public spaces and buildings.  He challenged all people, the farmers, the townspeople, religious leaders and government officials.  He held high the way of God with no thought of His own physical welfare.

Brothers and sisters, let’s not waste today’s great public witness to God.  Let’s take this procession and continue, as Christ did, and walk through each day of our life holding God high.  As we saw Father today holding the monstrance for all to see, let’s hold our faith in same way.

It is getting tougher to do this, as each year passes society is trying marginalize our opinion of how we should live but we take heart and strength from this poorest of species, which become our greatest treasure and wealth because it is our God.

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[1] Prayers and Devotions: 365 Daily Meditations by John Paul II
[2] Matthew 28: 19-20

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