A Corpus Christi Procession

Tonight’s reading[1] we hear St. Paul relate to the Corinthians Christ’s institution of the Eucharist at the Last Supper. In it we hear the word ‘remembrance[2]. ‘Do this in remembrance of me.’[3]

We have been raised in our faith to understand that the people of the bible viewed this word ‘remembrance’ (in regards to sacramental remembrance) as more than just calling to mind something in the past; it was much more. They understood the word remembrance as bringing forward this event, making it present in regards to our sacramental participation in it.  So, in terms of the reading we are convinced that during the Mass we are actively participating in Christ’s passion death and resurrection.  The sacrifice of the Mass is the same as what happened during the Last Supper which is the sacramental participation in the passion. Christ is present: body, blood, soul, and divinity in the Eucharist.  Devout Catholics have no problem with this aspect of faith.

But there should be more.

Two weeks ago, I attended a funeral of friend (and fellow deacon) in north central Wisconsin. A thought came to me while viewing his body; his time with me affected me, his example and witness affected my life. As I stood there I thought of our friendship and I was determined to always remember these examples and, going forward, use them to continually make myself better.

This came back to me today as I was reflecting on Corpus Christi. Does my participation in Eucharist also include allowing the power of this remembrance of Christ’s institution of the Eucharist to affect my life – change me in ways that bring me closer to God?

If meaningful memories change us, have an impact on our journey, then how do I view the Eucharistic sacrifice? Does it have this same impact? Am I changed? I pray God that it does now and that this understanding will continue to grow deeper and stronger as I journey onward.  This is the best kind of Corpus Christi procession!


[1] 1 Corinthians 2: 23-25  ‘I received from the Lord what I handed on to you, namely, that the Lord Jesus on the night in which he was betrayed took bread, and after he had given thanks, broke it and said, “ This is my body, which is for you.  Do this in remembrance of me.”  In the same way, after the supper, he took the cup, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood.  Do this, whenever you drink it, in remembrance of me.”’
[2] ibid
[3] ibid