Corpus Christi

Bro. Keiran Fenn of the Marist Brothers used to say that the people of God should be fed from the two tables–the table of the Word and the table of the Eucharist. And he is right. Jesus feeds the people from the table of the Word through his preaching. He also feeds their souls with words that come from his lips. “Man doesn’t live on bread alone but also on the words spoken by God.” This happens in the celebration of the Mass, the part that we call the Liturgy of the Word where the Readings, Psalm, and the Gospel are proclaimed.

After being fed from the Table of the Word, the Mass now shifts to the Table of the Eucharist. On this table, we receive the greatest offering that Jesus ever gave. Jesus offered to us his body and blood. Through the words of consecration uttered by the priest, the bread and the wine are changed into the Body and Blood of Christ. The process is called Transubstantiation. Meaning the substance of the bread and wine are mysteriously changed into the Body and Blood of Christ. Only the substance is changed! We must understand that bread still looks like bread and tastes like bread, but the substance is already the Body of Christ. The same thing with the wine! It will continue to look like wine, smell like wine, and taste like wine (and if you drink too much you will be tipsy) BUT it is now changed into the Blood of Christ. Again, only the substance is changed—Transubstantiation.

As we celebrate this feast of the Body and Blood of Christ, let us continue to appreciate the gift of the Holy Mass. God incorporates himself into the humble piece of bread and wine so that he may become a part of us and us in him. When the minister says, “The Body of Christ,” “The Blood of Christ,” instead of just whispering, we declare with all conviction the word “Amen.” The word “Amen” is a response that shows we truly believe that what we  receive is the Body and Blood of Christ. Amen also means that we allow ourselves to be changed as we receive Jesus in our lives. And most importantly, Amen means we allow ourselves, just like the bread, to be broken and shared with others.