Solemnity of the most Holy BB of Christ 2011

I have to confess that the Solemnity of Corpus Christi is not my favorite preaching Sunday. It’s difficult to prepare a homily or reflection on the Eucharist. Why? Because I am more of a Word person than a Eucharist person….it’s the Liturgy of the Word that I cherish and enjoy. Maybe it’s because I mighta been a Protestant in a previous life, or because I work with words so much in reading and writing. I’m also one who absorbs information through sight, hearing, touch, taste, etc….and it’s hard to comprehend that the bread and wine are indeed the Body and Blood of Christ. It’s hard to move past “bread” and “wine.”

Sometimes I’ll get pensive and ask myself: “What difference does the Eucharist make in my life?” I know the Word of God makes a huge difference; but the Eucharist….well….it leaves me reaching for words. I’m sure it makes a difference, but exactly how, I don’t know. Maybe it’s just an infinitesimal amount of growth each day…..growth like that of a seedling out of sight beneath the surface of the soil.

Sigh….see how difficult it is…..boy, ya don’t ever want to ask me to preach at a Eucharistic Congress or something similar!!

After a few minutes of “lean back, close eyes, and think”, a possible image came to mind. Most people today received the Body of Christ in their cupped hands. The hands are held out freely, willingly, with conviction, strength, and reverence.

But what if Jesus chooses to come to us in other ways that day? Wouldn’t it be true to say that for most of us, the hands we extend to receive the Real Presence seem less open to receive life’s challenges, surprises, invitations. Our hands instead clench or close; we can become less available, less present to others, less forgiving as time passes.

Perhaps one effect of the Eucharist in my life is that it helps me to move through the day with open hands. Time and again I’ve counseled people: “Don’t clench, don’t grasp, don’t smother….hold lightly. Let the gift be what it is instead of trying to crush it into what you want it to be.” And when it comes to the life of Jesus within us, we know we can’t force it. We can only receive it as he wishes to give it to us.

Love deeply, laugh often, pray faithfully!

herb yost reflections

Fr Herb, C.S.C.

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