Sacerdos in Aeternum | Rev. Fr. Rommel Molina Arcilla:

The Body of Christ

The Feast of the Body of Christ (Corpus Christi), which we have just celebrated last Sunday was established with a twofold focus. The first is about the Real Presence of Christ in the sacred species, the Holy Body and Blood of Christ. I remember when I was young, this feast is celebrated, not only with the Eucharistic celebration, but with a solemn procession around the parish. People who were watching at the side of the streets would normally kneel down in veneration when the priest carrying the monstrance with the Sacred Host would pass them by. Of course, we still do the same procession but it is no longer the same as before when even vehicles would stop and people would stop whatever they were doing until the procession passed by.

Now, as far as I can observe, we do it only within the “Patio” (the courtyard of the church) because of a lot of excuses. Monstrances are now made of heavier materials and people no longer show that old fashioned solemn veneration just like before. I know we all believe in the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist, in the bread and wine, but to show our veneration to this sacred truth is another challenge for the modern world.

The other aspect of the feast is about the Body Of Christ as referring to the People of God -us, you and me- because we are members of this Body of Christ, the Church. Yes, indeed! We are the Body of Christ, in the whole world. We are being called to be the Real Presence of Jesus in the world. Now, I think we have a lot of things to explain and understand in this aspect. This is a greater challenge for all of us; how can we be the real presence of Christ when, most of the times, we even deny that presence of Christ in us.

My dear friends, we are not expected to be a standout among the rest when it comes to the witnessing of our faith. We are not expected to die for or faith like did the martyrs. We are not expected to be exceptional in our way of holiness. We are simply encouraged to live our lives in imitation of Jesus in whatever way we can. We are believers and we are the Body of Christ in the world, so maybe we can do our part by making His presence alive in our communities by simply living our lives like a true Christian.

Our Baptism connects us to one another, and we are members of this One Body of Christ. We are never alone in this mission because we can act as one, as members of the Mystical Body, the Church. Every endeavor becomes easy and light when it is shared by many. Our faith becomes meaningful when we do our own part. I know we have our own way of doing things in this world, but if we will do our thing always in connection to our mission to make the presence of Jesus alive in our communities, then our daily lives become worthwhile in the eyes of God.

This feast is not a passive one, meaning only gazing at the monstrance bearing the Body of Christ. This feast is also active because it is compelling us all, believers, to show the Christ in us into the whole world.

If by this time you still do not know where to find that real presence of Christ in your life, I suggest you start looking around you. Maybe you will find Christ in those orphans, the homeless families, the abused, the elderly and the sick. Finding Christ in their lowly situation will always bring out the Christ in you, especially when you decide to do something good for them and when you start to treat them as real brothers and sisters. After all, we are brothers and sisters in Christ, and we all build up the Church, the Body of Christ.

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