Phil’s Notes & Tidbits
As we celebrate Corpus Christi, the Feast of the Body and Blood of Christ, we perhaps do well to consider Who we consume in the Eucharist.
Katrina was a 16 year old when I met her. She had just returned from a Steubenville Catholic Youth Conference. At these conferences the young people often come to a deeper realization of Jesus’ Presence in the Eucharist. Katrina shared with me that after the conference, her knees would shake as she would go up to receive Communion. She KNEW who she was receiving.
A few years ago I saw another young lady, a freshman in high school. She had just exited the Church on a Wednesday evening after spending some time in Eucharistic Adoration. As she walked through the inner church door, she looked back one last time at the Monstrance and blew a kiss to Jesus. I was amazed. For she KNEW the one who was present in the Eucharist, Jesus our Lord.
A long time ago, the King of France, St. Louis IX would serve Mass on his knees on the bare floor. One time a servant offered him a kneeler, but the king responded, “At Mass God offers Himself as a sacrifice, and when God sacrifices Himself, kings should kneel on the floor.” He KNEW before whom He was kneeling.
One of the few things I remember from 2nd grade was this tidbit from Sr. Mary Ella Francis, “when you go up to Communion, repeat to yourself, ‘My Lord and my God’ for that is who you are receiving.” You may note that those are the words of St. Thomas upon seeing the Resurrected Christ in John 20:28. You know what? I still repeat those words to myself every time I go up to Communion some 27 years later! Sr. Mary Ella Francis KNEW who she was introducing us too.
At the recent training session for Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion I shared with those present that when I first began assisting in the distribution, my hands would tremble at what I was doing, and Who I had in my hands. I KNEW who I was giving to others in Communion. I try never to lose sight of that reality and encouraged the Extraordinary Ministers of Communion to do the same.
Pope St. Pius X famously said, “Holy Communion is the shortest and safest way to Heaven.” And why wouldn’t it be as the same Lord we KNEW in this life in the Eucharist is the one who escorts us and grants us access to Heaven in the next.
May we all come to KNOW the One we adore and receive in the Eucharist.
God bless you!
Director of Catechesis & Evangelization