June 21, 2019
This weekend we celebrate the wonderful feast of Corpus Christi. The phrase ‘Body of Christ’ has so many resonances and this feast brings them all together. There is the physical Body of Christ, crucified for us but now resurrected and glorified in Heaven. There is the Church which is the Body of Christ on earth. And, of course, there is the Eucharistic Body of Christ by which the Church is constituted and through which we are united to Christ in Heaven.
This feast calls us to remember especially the Eucharistic Body of Christ. We give thanks for the great gift of that Body given to us. In many parishes there is a Corpus Christi procession in which the Blessed Sacrament is carried through the streets. This is a wonderful way of celebrating our faith in the ‘real presence’ and a wonderful way in which we can give witness to those around us.
Down through the ages the Blessed Sacrament had sustained the saints in their troubles and difficulties. The Mass has been the rock of all that the Church does, says, and is.
This weekend we celebrate the fact that bread and wine are transformed into the Body and Blood of Christ, and that we too are transformed by our consumption of the same. P.D.
June 7, 2019
There is always a tendency for groups under threat to retreat in on themselves. This temptation has been one that the Church has often had to fight hard, and there are those today who want to ‘pull up the drawbridge’ against the hostile world. Tuesday’s feast of St. Barnabas reminds us of the proper response to problems and attacks: be confident in the Spirit and proclaim the good news even more boldly.
We are told a few things about him in the Acts. He is described as ‘full of the Holy Spirit and faith’. He introduced the persecutor Saul to the fledgling Church, and took the newly converted Paul with him to confirm the faith of the Christians in Antioch. He and Paul embarked on the first great missionary endeavour of the Church, and brought the good news to the Mediterranean world. He is traditionally held to have been martyred for the faith on the island of Cyprus.
The world that Barnabas and Paul lived in was very hostile to the Church. They and most of their companions were eventually murdered because they followed Christ. They are examples to us of faith, and courage, and perseverance – all of which we need to proclaim the good news of the gospel in our present difficulties. P.D.