I remember fondly the Colorado State Fair Parade — the sights and sounds as festive music filled the air, the clickity-clack of horse hooves on the street as marching bands played and the community coming together, all announcing a time of celebration. As a child, this event meant two things: the season of funnel cakes, midway rides and 4-H shows had arrived, and summertime was almost over. As my young self experienced a temporary joy with the announcement of the State Fair, the soul experiences a different kind of joy as processions with the Blessed Sacrament announce the eternal presence of Jesus Christ.
There are four ways that Jesus is present to us at Mass: the gathered assembly, the priest as he speaks the words of Jesus at the Last Supper over the bread and wine, Jesus is present in the word of God proclaimed and in the Eucharist (the bread and wine itself).
"the soul experiences a different kind of joy as processions with the Blessed Sacrament announce the eternal presence of Jesus Christ."
In the Eucharist, the bread and wine become the fullness of Jesus Christ as the bread and wine are transformed into Christ’s body. St. Thomas Aquinas
once said, “The common spiritual good of the whole Church is contained in the sacrament of the Eucharist.”
One of the greatest feasts of the Church celebrates this reality oft he Eucharist. This feast
is the solemnity of Corpus Christi. Traditionally on this feast day, a sunburst-shaped container called a monstrance holding the Blessed Sacrament, is carried in procession through the street, while songs and prayers announce the eternal presence of Jesus among us.
"In the Eucharist, the bread and wine become the fullness of Jesus Christ as the bread and wine are transformed into Christ’s body."
During this month, let us spend some time in prayer before Christ in the Blessed Sacrament, consider it a type of spiritual eucharistic procession. It might be in formal adoration, or it might be just spending some quiet time before Mass reflecting on the great treasure we have in the body of Christ. Praying before the Blessed Sacrament, St. Therese of Lisieux remarked, “In the silence, I found my one consolation: Jesus.”
Sincerely yours in Christ,
Reverend Michael Chrisman, Director Office of Worship