Last Sunday Christians celebrated the feast of Corpus Christi – a mystery that invites a deep faith and calls us into community so that we too become the ‘body of Christ’ to which we are called. Each time Catholics celebrate the Eucharist we believe that Jesus is truly present in the consecrated bread and wine. Although the appearances of bread and wine may stay the same, they are transformed into Christ’s body and blood.
“Lord, I believe. Help my unbelief!”
Why do we “eat his flesh and drink his blood”? Sr Ann Casper from the Sisters of Providence in Indiana responds… “to have life; to remain in him, as he remains in us; to feed on him so we will have life and be a source of life to others; to live forever.”
People all over the world are continually searching for the truth and for Catholics it is in the gift of the Eucharist which calls us into union with God so that we can transform the world. We all belong to the Body of Christ and if one part is missing or excluded then the whole body suffers as evidenced during the current COVID -19 global pandemic, for practising Catholics have suffered through not been able to gather in community to worship and be nourished by the Eucharist.
I recall as a young girl growing up in a Polish Catholic family when the Polish community in the Adelaide archdiocese celebrated the feast of Corpus Christi annually with a Mass, followed by a procession around the streets of Royal Park, regardless of the weather, and often it was raining! Dressed in national costume we processed behind the monstrance that carried the consecrated host, professing our faith publicly, carrying banners, praying and singing hymns. This was followed by a community celebration with traditional food and dancing – a joyous experience of community that I will always remember fondly.
Transitioning from a simple child-like faith one discovers that as we get older our faith may be shaken, lost or strengthened in our search for the truth. We discern for ourselves what to embrace with conviction and accept as dogma… and what to reject.
However, through belonging to a faith community we feel supported in our journey as we search for the truth which leads to a fullness of life in Christ. St Bernadette’s is a Catholic school and we are blessed with a diversity of faiths, but whatever our beliefs, may we as one body reach out and be a source of life to all … be courageous and live the truth.
Stef Turcinovic (APRIM)