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Thursday, 03 June 2021 11:44

Celebrating At Home - Body and Blood of Christ

The real presence of Jesus in us

It seems a bit odd to be celebrating the Feast of the Body and Blood of Christ at a time when so many cannot attend Mass and receive the Eucharist. Yet I think that this time has actually been a blessing for us.

When what we have been used to suddenly changes, it is challenging. It is hard to deal with the sense of loss. But if we can transcend the moment it can become an opportunity. I’m thinking of the many people, faced with new situations over the past few months, who saw new opportunities.

Wine-makers producing hand sanitiser. Restaurants and cooking schools producing meals for vulnerable people. Clothing manufacturers making face masks. They didn’t try to do what they had always done. They did something new, practical and useful with what they had.

That’s what we have been doing too. We have been allowing ourselves to feast on the words of the Gospel, to explore the mystery of God’s action within our hearts and our call to be God’s love in the world.

We are very used to thinking about the Real Presence of Jesus being in the Blessed Sacrament. But the real presence of Christ is also in the community when it gathers in his name to feast on the Word of Scripture, to recall what Jesus said

and did at the Last Supper (not only the words over bread and wine, but also the washing of the feet), when it shares the food of the Eucharist together, when it goes out and continues to break and pour out that food in acts of loving kindness, in soothing and nourishing words which brings others to life.

The Eucharist is not an object to be looked at, but an action to be done so that the living presence of Jesus continues to touch and heal.

Maybe we need to think more deeply about the real presence of Jesus being in real, living human beings. Bread and Wine have no eyes to gaze with love, no face with which to smile, no mouth to speak soothing words, no arms to hold the grieving and the sick, or to lend a hand, no ears to hear the pain. But we do.

So we are called to become the Eucharist that feeds those around us with the nourishment of breadth of heart and vision, respect, love, compassion, hope and forgiveness.

May we become what we receive. (St Augustine)

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Celebrating at Home is a Liturgy of the Word centred around the Gospel reading for each Sunday. It includes a reflection on the Gospel and prayers.

It can be used personally or with your family. Parts for all to pray are given in bold print and all the other parts can be shared among those present.

We hope that Celebrating at Home will be a source of nourishment and strength for all who use it.

In the room you decide to use for this prayer you could have a lighted candle, a crucifix and the Bible. These symbols help keep us mindful of the sacredness of our time of prayer and can help us feel connected with our local worshipping communities.

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