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Corpus Christi Sunday – C

Corpus Christi Sunday – C

 

Dear friends in Christ,

“Why do I have to go to Mass?” “Stop forcing your religion on me.” “I am a Catholic, I believe Christ, but I don’t go to Mass.” “I can pray to God in my heart, and there is no need for me to go to Church.” These questions and statements are quite familiar in our homes and in our society these days, especially among adolescents and young people.

Parents should not blame themselves or wonder why they failed regarding their children’s faith in God and in the Mass. Good parents should understand their children’s ‘rebellion’ as part of their growing up, called the search for self-identity.

The appropriate way to understand and take personal ownership of the faith in general and of the Eucharist in particular is through an honest reflection on Jesus’ own words rather than on one’s reasoning or arguing.

In the gospel Jesus clearly said to the people, “Unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you.” Later, at the Last Supper before his Passion and Death on the Cross, Jesus said the words to change bread into his Body and wine into his Blood. He then told the disciples, “Take and eat; this is my Body. Take and drink; this is my Blood. Do this in memory of me.” This was how first Christians understood Jesus’ words and it is how the Church understands those words today: they are about the Eucharist.

A recent study reported that the majority of young Catholics (90%) believe that the bread and wine become the Body and Blood of Christ at Mass. But in the same report, 75% say they can be good Catholics without attending Church every Sunday. This shows a lack of understanding and appreciation of the Eucharist. Based on Jesus’ words: “Do this in my memory,” our presence and participation in the Eucharist, the Mass, is required. Jesus promised, “He who feeds on my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day.” There is a pledge of future glory with Jesus for those who come to the Eucharist: “All that the Father gives me shall come to me; no one who comes will I ever reject.” I go to Mass for this reason.

Fr. Joe