A blessed and grace-filled Solemnity of Corpus Christi! To our Canadian readers, at least, where this day is moved from its regular Thursday, recalling the institution of the Eucharist at the Last Supper, to the following Sunday, for ‘pastoral reasons’. For this feast is one of the ten days of obligation in the universal Church, and our bishops realize – sadly – that most Canadians would shrug, or be oblivious, and not go to Mass on Thursday during the work-week, putting themselves into an objective state of grave sin.
But this raises deeper questions, does it not? The secularization of society, the cooling off of devotion and fervour, or outright disdain for the Holy Eucharist, which preceded these Covid days, has only been exacerbated by endless lockdowns and further pastoral dispensations from Sunday obligation.
How far we are from the mindset of the early Christians – sine Dominico, non possumus! We cannot live without the Lord!, whose direct reference is to the Holy Eucharist, the Bread of Life, which, as Father Callam rightly points out, we should strive to receive daily, if circumstances permit, but at least weekly, and on those ten other feast days of obligation.
But we should not see them as ‘obligatory’ or somehow coerced. For love should moves us to seek the Beloved, even through great difficulty and risk, a lesson God is teaching us once more. By allowing the Eucharist to be taken away, He is testing us, sifting us like wheat, so that we might recognize and appreciate more fully the treasure of our Faith and the holy life-giving Sacraments, to increase our desire the Lord, without Whom – the Way, the Truth and the Life – indeed, we cannot live.
So keep up the good fight of the Faith, dear reader – the Lord is always nigh.