Greetings on the Solemnity of the Body and Blood of Christ, a.k.a. Corpus Christi!
How is this feast different from Holy Thursday? On Holy Thursday we celebrated and recalled the institution of the Holy Eucharist at the Last Supper, and thereby, the inauguration of the Holy Priesthood. On Corpus Christi, we celebrate the fulfillment of Christ's promise on the feast of the Ascension “behold I am with you always!” (Matthew 28:20).
"Christ Jesus, who died, yes, who was raised from the dead, who is at the right hand of God, who indeed intercedes for us, is present in many ways to his Church: in his word, in his Church's prayer, 'where two or three are gathered in my name,' in the poor, the sick, and the imprisoned, in the sacraments of which he is the author, in the sacrifice of the Mass, and in the person of the minister. But 'he is present ... most especially in the Eucharistic species." (CCC #1373)
Why is Jesus most especially present to us in the Eucharist? Because in the blessed Eucharist “is contained the whole spiritual good of the Church, namely Christ himself.” (CCC #1324) The Eucharist contains Jesus himself! It is the Lord himself in the Tabernacle, on the altar, and given to us in Holy Communion.
Our demeanor at Mass and as we approach the altar should reflect our devotion and faith in Jesus' words that “This is my body." We fast from food one hour before the reception of Holy Communion, our gestures, clothing, and comportment should reflect a respect for the sacred. (So no gum chewing and the like at Mass). We do not depart the Church immediately after Communion as if we have just finished some task and clock out. This is what Judas Iscariot, the betrayer, did at the Last Supper, he received and then left immediately. Take time to pray after receiving Holy Communion. Remember, this is the Lord who freely chooses to give Himself to you in Holy Communion.
What does Communion mean? "Holy Communion augments our union with Christ. The principal fruit of receiving the Eucharist in Holy Communion is an intimate union with Christ Jesus. Indeed, the Lord said: 'He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood abides in me, and I in him." CCC 1391)
O Sacrament most Holy, O Sacrament Divine! All praise and all thanksgiving, be every moment Thine!
God bless you all, Father Robert Letona