To day we celebrate Corpus Christi, in the time honored language of the church – Thanks giving for the institution of holy Communion in the language of the modern Church of England.
The celebration of the Eucharist, translated from the Greek word meaning “thanksgiving” the Mass; the Lord Supper is not universal to the body of Christ but it is central to many of us within the body of Christ.
The Eucharist, with its roots in the last supper Jesus celebrated with his disciples on the night before he was betrayed is a meal that is not supposed to leave us unchanged. Meeting God is not supposed to leave us just as we were. Encountering the Lord in the sacrament or in any other way means that we change, and change for good, forever. What we do today changes us. And this one thing I have learned in all of these experiences of being part of a celebration of the Eucharist is – that we are loved and loved and loved by God.
For it is in this meal that we can find the most telling signs, the most powerful symbols, the most pressing reminders and the most startling revelations of that simple love of God who came and mingled with us and walked among us. The Eucharist is a reminder that God offers us the sustenance of faith and the intoxication of love, not just today but every day.
Corpus Christi affirms us in the human instinct that is in the blood of every Christian, that the most profound words we can ever utter are the words ‘thank you’. Once we grasp this, we see life in a new way, a Eucharistic way. The transformation of broken bread and poured out wine into heavenly food and drink becomes a symbol of renewed attitudes within us. G.K. Chesterton put it like this.
You say grace before meals. All right. But I say grace before the play and the opera, and grace before the concert and the pantomime, and grace before I open the book, and grace before sketching and painting, swimming, fencing, boxing, walking, playing, dancing, and grace before I dip pen in the ink.
And, we should add, before we face the suffering, the deprived, the neglected, our brothers or sisters in whom the image of Christ is most to be honoured.