This year, I’ve been particularly noticing the great amount of celebrations within the Church calendar, especially those since Holy Week. I don’t know if it’s just a special quirk of extra attentiveness, or if the tumultuous events that have filled 2020 so far have kept me looking out for the hidden brightness in our world – but there has been a lot of celebrating lately. Easter, Divine Mercy Sunday, the Ascension, Memorial of Mary, Queen of Heaven and Earth, Pentecost, the Solemnity of the Holy Trinity, and now the Feast of Corpus Christi – or the Body and Blood of Christ.
It’s fitting that amidst the difficulties and discomfort this year has brought that we have been accompanied by these great reminders of the presence of our Lord and the greatness that’s promised to each of us, not here on earth, but in Heaven. With each passing week bringing more isolation, fear, injustice, and sickness, we are reinforced and revived by the risen Christ, His powerful mercy, and the great love He holds for every one of us.
Perhaps that love is most greatly shared with us through the sacrament of the Eucharist. This sacrament is so intimate that our Lord is physically living within our being through an act so humbling: the Creator of the universe gives Himself to us as lowly unleavened bread.
This sacrament most holy is so vital to us as fallen and dependent beings that we commemorate it twice – first on Holy Thursday, and again on Corpus Christi. If you look at the liturgical calendar, you will see a line of Sundays in Easter and Sunday Solemnities, and they are perfectly bookended with a feast for the body of Christ, or even more broadly, the institution of the Holy Mass.
We are blessed and loved. We are given much by a Father who cares for us greatly. Our lives are filled with moments to celebrate and rejoice in, especially that which is the source and summit of our Christian lives – the Eucharist – which fills us more completely with the graces and love of the Father.
This simple gift of finest wheat is the greatest blessing left for us, an embrace from our Savior. Even after we leave the celebratory Sundays behind and enter into ordinary time, may we remember that the greatest celebration of the Mass continues every Sunday of the year as a replenisher of grace and hope and a bright light in the face of the ever-moving darkness.