As we approach the wonderful feast of Corpus Christi, I couldn’t resist reflecting upon this awesome gift of Jesus’ Eucharistic presence!
There is so much to say: where can I begin, or end?
The Catechism of the Catholic Church (1324) calls the Eucharist “the source and summit of the Christian life…[f]or in the blessed Eucharist is contained the whole spiritual good of the Church, namely Christ himself, our Pasch.”
Our Patron, Saint Francis, was aware of the wonder, the awesomeness, of this great Sacrament. He writes:
- “Let the entire man be seized with fear; let the whole world tremble; let heaven exult when Christ, the Son of the Living God, is on the altar in the hands of the priest. O admirable height and stupendous condescension! O humble sublimity! O sublime humility! that the Lord of the universe, God and the Son of God, so humbles Himself that for our salvation He hides Himself under a morsel of bread. Consider, brothers, the humility of God and “pour out your hearts before Him.”
The Saint continues: “Do not therefore keep back anything for yourselves that He may receive you entirely who gives Himself up entirely to you.”
St. Francis sees Christ’s humility in giving Himself through the Eucharist as an inspiration for each of us. It inspires us to give of ourselves back to him; it inspires awe and reverence.
Our Franciscan Rule, drawing from our founder’s words, expounds: “…they are to show the greatest possible reverence and honor for the most sacred name, written words and most holy Body and Blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ through whom all things in heaven and on earth have been brought to peace and reconciliation with Almighty God.”
When we think of the humility and love of our Eucharistic Lord, how can we show anything than ‘the greatest possible reverence and honor’ to Him, present on our altars and in our tabernacles?
No wonder there are so many beautiful Eucharistic hymn helping us in our feeble attempts to praise Him! One that comes to mind is: Jesus, My Lord, My God, My All. (Sweet Sacrament). Below are the lyrics. I could write volumes more, but (especially with all the verses below), you might think I’m too long winded already.
Jesus, my Lord, my God, my all ! How can I love Thee as I ought? And how revere this wondrous gift, So far surpassing hope or thought?
Refrain: Sweet Sacrament, we Thee adore ! Oh, make us love Thee more and more! Oh, make us love Thee more and more!
Had I but Mary’s sinless heart To love Thee with, my dearest King, Oh, with what bursts of fervent praise Thy goodness, Jesus, would I sing ! Refrain
Ah, see! within a creature’s hand The vast Creator deigns to be, Reposing, infant like, as though On Joseph’s arm, or Mary’s knee. Refrain:
Thy Body, Soul, and Godhead, all! 0 mystery of love divine! 1 can not compass all I have, For all Thou hast, and art, are mine! Refrain:
Sound, sound His praises higher still, And come, ye angels, to our aid! ‘Tis God! ’tis God! the very God Whose power both men and angels made! Refrain:
Ring joyously, ye solemn bells! And wave, oh wave, ye censers bright! ‘Tis Jesus cometh, Mary’s Son, And God of God, and Light of Light!
O earth, grow flowers beneath His feet, And thou, O sun, shine bright this day! He comes! He comes! O Heaven on earth! Our Jesus comes upon His way! Refrain:
He comes! He comes! the Lord of Hosts, Borne on His throne triumphantly! We see Thee, and we know Thee, Lord, And yearn to shed our blood for Thee. Refrain:
Our hearts leap up; our trembling song Grows fainter still; we can no more. Silence! and let us weep, and die Of very love, while we adore.
Great Sacrament of love divine, All, we have, or are, be Thine! All, we have, or are, be Thine!