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Corpus Christi The Body of Christ

刊登日期: 2013.06.02
作者: Fr. Thomas Au 區耀邦神父  

 

 

 “ Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him on the last day. ” ( Jn. 6:54 ) 

The second central mystery of the Catholic Church is the doctrine of the Holy Eucharist; Jesus gave us His Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity as our spiritual food. 

As Catholics we have the tremendous gift from Jesus to receive Him in the Holy Eucharist. This is no small matter. Yet, so many receive Him such recklessly, 

“ without discerning the Body of Christ.” ( 1 Cor. 11:29 ) 

I would like to give you two thoughts regarding the Holy Eucharist: 

1. Receiving Holy Communion (領聖體) 

We are accustomed to say we receive the Holy Eucharist in Communion. I suggest that each time we go to Holy Communion, WE are the ones being received by the Lord. 

In 1994 I celebrated my 25th anniversary as a priest. I tried to print a holy card for the occasion in both Chinese and English and wanted to express my gratitude to God for calling me to be a priest. My final wording was “ 謝主慈恩, 卑躬牧民 In humble thanksgiving in calling me to shepherd His flock.). 

My original wording was “ 蒙主寵召 Grateful to God's calling me to Himself.). When I sent it to a friend of mine for comment, he told me how the phrase was really used (for funerals that God calls us home). OOOPS. I totally forgot my Chinese. 

But, in some ways, that is really true for us when we receive Holy Communion. It is Jesus who initiated the giving of Himself, for us to be drawn into Him. It is He who is receiving us. 

Another way of looking at it is when someone is summoned to the palace to dine with the king. Can you imagine the sense of privilege? Isn’t that what is happening at every Holy Communion? Jesus is the one inviting us to His Presence. What would you do in preparation to go to the banquet? 

Last month, at the children’s first Holy Communion, I commented how they dressed so beautifully for the occasion. Unfortunately, that may be the last time they will dress for Mass. Especially in the summer time, many parents allow their children to dress like they were going to the beach or a picnic. 

How will you dress? Do you have a special outfit for the King’s Banquet? Will you dress only on the outside? How do you prepare your soul for being received by Jesus? How will you prepare for the ultimate calling, to the eternal banquet of Heaven? 

2. To be consumed (消耗) 

The second thought is this. Think about a candle. In order for it to give light, it has to be lit. And when it is lit, it literally consumes itself, burns itself out. 

In receiving Holy Communion, it is more proper to say, “I consume the Blessed Sacrament.” It is not proper to say, “I eat the Blessed Sacrament.” 

At each Holy Communion, Jesus expends Himself for us. His Death for our sins is truly enacted in us. The grace of the Cross is real and present in the Blessed Sacrament. That is why we believe the Blessed Sacrament is the (re)- present-(ation) of Jesus. 

In response to His giving of Himself to us, our “Amen” is not merely some sound we make habitually, but our placing of ourselves in the work of Jesus, to be in comm-UNION with Jesus, to be consumed so that we too might give light to the world. 

The Body of Christ! 

Amen! 

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