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Adoremus in Aeternum: Solemn Feast of Corpus Christi

Adoremus in Aeternum: Solemn Feast of Corpus Christi

Adoremus in aeternum Sanctissimum Sacramentum! “Let us adore forever the Most Holy Sacrament!”

Thus chants Holy Mother Church, the Mystical Body and Bride of Christ, in honor of her Lord and God truly present in the Holy Eucharist, and especially on the Feast of Corpus Christi, which we celebrate today. The significance of this special feast, which finds its origins in the Eucharistic miracle of Bolsena, Italy (A.D. 1263), is perhaps best summarized by the words of Our Lord Himself in today’s Gospel:

“For My Flesh is meat indeed, and My Blood is drink indeed. He that eateth My Flesh, and drinketh My Blood, abideth in Me, and I in him. As the living Father hath sent Me, and I live by the Father; so he that eateth Me, the same also shall live by Me. This is the bread that came down from heaven. Not as your fathers did eat manna, and are dead. He that eateth this bread shall live forever.” (John 6:56-59)

As we give thanks (in Greek, eucharisteō) to God our Father for feeding us with the living Bread come down from heaven – the Flesh and Blood of His Son – may we all take a few moments to ponder more deeply this great mysterium fidei (“mystery of faith”), using as a guide the insights of Fr. Gabriel of St. Mary Magdalen, O.C.D. in his spiritual classic Divine Intimacy (English translation first published in 1963):

“We have gone, step by step, in the course of the liturgical year, from the consideration of the mysteries of the life of Jesus to the contemplation of the Blessed Trinity, whose feast we celebrated last Sunday. Jesus, our Mediator, our Way, has taken us by the hand and led us to the Trinity; and today it seems as though the three Persons Themselves wish to take us back to Jesus, considered in His Eucharist. ‘No man cometh to the Father but by Me’ (John 14:6), Jesus said, and He added, ‘No man can come to Me except the Father … draw him’ (John 6:44). This is the journey of the Christian soul: from Jesus to the Father, to the Trinity; from the Trinity, from the Father, to Jesus. Jesus brings us to the Father, the Father draws us to Jesus. A Christian cannot do without Christ; He is, in the strictest sense of the word, our Pontiff, the great Bridge-builder who has spanned the abyss between God and us. At the end of the liturgical cycle in which we commemorate the mysteries of the Savior, the Church, who like a good Mother knows that our spiritual life cannot subsist without Jesus, leads us to Him, really and truly present in the Most Holy Sacrament of the altar. The solemnity of the Corpus Domini [“Body of the Lord”] is not just a simple memorial of an historical event which took place almost two-thousand years ago at the Last Supper; rather, it recalls us to the ever-present reality of Jesus always living in our midst. We can say, in truth, that He has not ‘left us orphans,’ but has willed to remain permanently with us, in the integrity of His Person in the fullness of His humanity and His divinity.”[1] (Meditation #200, Feast of Corpus Christi)

[1] Fr. Gabriel of St. Mary Magdalen, O.C.D., Divine Intimacy (Baronius Press, 2015), p. 581.

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