Although we celebrate many solemnities in the Catholic Church, the Solemnity of Corpus Christi has to be one that really stands out since its about the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ. Blessed John Paul II says, “A particular mention should be made at this point of the Solemnity of the Body and Blood of Christ as an act of public worship rendered to Christ present in the Eucharist, a feast instituted by my predecessor Urban IV in memory of the institution of this great Mystery.” (Dominicae Cenae, #3).
This morning, I attended the worldwide Adoration with Pope Francis along with many other Catholics from the universal Church. As Adoration concluded, I left for a bit, but returned for the Holy Mass and the Corpus Christi Procession at Saint Joan of Arc Catholic Church in Phoenix, Arizona.
Fr. Don Kline (Pastor) and Fr. Greg Menegay (Parochial Vicar) are really do great things at Saint Joan of Arc Catholic Church. The Holy Mass was one of the most prayerful and reverent liturgies I have attended in some time. The Sacrifice of the Mass is truly an awe-inspiring and prayerful time at this parish. The choir was not it’s own “show” but truly added to the Mass and lifted us up in Heaven. The faithful gathered were just that – faithful! As each processed to receive the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ during Holy Communion, there was a true love in the actions of those present. Nearly everyone stayed and participated in the Eucharistic procession around the parish grounds.
Fr. Greg’s homily was fantastic! Simple, yet theologically sound and to the point on how beautiful and sacred the Holy Eucharist is for us as Catholics. The teaching of the True Presence is a fundamental teaching in the Catholic Church. One of the points he made was that the Holy Mass was an action of thanksgiving from Holy Communion till the end of the liturgy. If you leave early, you are not giving the proper and full thanks to Jesus Christ in this sacrament. The priests at St. Joan of Arc have a good understanding of how they are united by their priesthood to the Eucharist and understand the words of Blessed John Paul II when says,
“Through our ordination – the celebrating which is linked to the holy Mass from the very first liturgical evidence – we are united in a singular and exceptional way to the Eucharist. In a certain way we derive from it and exist for it…The priest fulfills his principal mission and is manifested in all his fullness when he celebrates the Eucharist…” (Dominicae Cenae, #2).
As we walked silently and reverently behind Fr. Greg Mengay carrying Our Lord in the Monstrance, the choir sang hymns in Latin. As we gathered outside near a makeshift altar, we listened to the Gospel passage about the Road to Emmaus. It’s an appropriate passage from the Gospel of Luke since it tells us how two disciples of Jesus walked with him on the day of His Resurrection. During this procession on Corpus Christi, we should be reminded to listen to Our Lord Jesus Christ as we walk through our lives as Christians. After the Gospel reading, we received Benediction (being blessed with the Holy Eucharist in the Monstrance by the priest) from Fr. Menegay. He then proceeded back into the Church with Our Lord and the faithful departed for home.
This Sunday morning was very blessed and special. It was a great day to be Catholic! As I walked to my SUV, I said to myself, “Man, I love being Catholic.” Only in the Catholic and Orthodox Church’s do you see the 2000 – year old Traditions in such magnificent splendor and awe. See the video below of Pope Francis and the Procession of Corpus Christi in Rome.
May Our Lord Jesus Christ be present in our hearts and in our bodies through the Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist. We ask for the intercessions of all the Saints and especially Our Lady of the Most Blessed Sacrament to pray with us to God in Heaven.