During the first week of June Catholics celebrate two liturgical feasts that highlight Jesus’ human nature and love for those He has redeemed: the Most Holy Body and Blood of Jesus—Corpus Christi (June 2)—and the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus (June 7). Christ’s Body and Blood, broken and spilled from a pierced Heart on the Cross for our salvation, nourish us at every Eucharist. A simple yet profound action at Mass proclaims why God assumes our fragile nature. A drop of water falls into the chalice of wine as whispered words entreat: “By the mystery of this water and wine, may we come to share in the divinity of Christ, who humbled himself to share in our humanity.” God weds our humanity to Himself so that we might share, today and forever, in His divine nature. This “great exchange” is our salvation! In Jesus, God takes on a human Body whose Heart burns with love for the human race and thirsts for our love in return.
I write these words on the last day of Prep’s school year: Deo gratias! Summer brings a more leisurely rhythm, including increased opportunities to recreate and enjoy time with family and friends. Can we also make more time to “be still and know that I am God” (Psalm 46:11)? St. Ignatius Loyola, founder of the Jesuits, had a special gift for “finding God in all things.” Christ speaks through every reality, momentous or “ordinary”: the beauty of a putt sunk from 40 feet, a belly laugh shared with friends, the moral courage elicited by an Oklahoma twister, a cold Trappist beer at Krug Park, the birth of a child and death of a grandparent, the scent of a lilac bush, disappointment in love or career. To quote Jesuit priest and poet Gerard Manley Hopkins, how can I more deeply sense that “the world is charged with the grandeur of God”? Two suggestions:
- Spend 15 minutes every morning pondering the daily Gospel from Mass, engaged in a “heart to Heart” (yours and Jesus’) during which you speak less and listen more. What happens when you notice Jesus noticing you? Here’s a simple way to pray with any Bible passage:http://onlineministries.creighton.edu/CollaborativeMinistry/AudioRetreat/Kroll-01-2010/Kroll-T01-02.pdf
- Receive Christ’s Body and Blood at Mass one day each week other than Sunday. The Eucharist is the “source and summit of the Christian life” says Vatican II. You can better be the Body of Christ for others the more closely you sacramentally unite yourself to that Body. As a branch you bear greater fruit if the lifeblood of the Vine courses through your veins.
Fr. Rob Kroll, S.J.
Superior – Creigton Prep Jesuit Community