This time of year is usually wedding & ordination season in the Church. A couple of weeks ago, our diocese ordained one new man to the priesthood. One of the most powerful moments during the ordination rite is when the candidate lies prostrate in an act of surrender as the Church prays the litany of saints. That powerful gesture portrays the reality that every priest upon ordination, dies to himself. In other words, the new priest says to God and the Church, ‘this is my body, given for you.’ In fact, marriage isn’t too different in that sense. When a couple exchanges their vows, in essence, they are saying, ‘this is my body, given for you.’
On this Feast of Corpus Christi, the Body and Blood of Christ, we are reminded of the sacred words of our Lord. Jesus took bread and said, ‘this is my body, given for you.’ Likewise, he took a cup filled with wine and said, ‘this is my blood, the blood of the new and everlasting covenant, which will be shed for you.’ Jesus brought those sacred words to reality when he mounted the Cross and by his actions, in essence, said, this is my body and blood given for you. Jesus laid down his life for all of us in a total act of self denial.
As Catholics we are called to die to ourselves daily and within our specific vocations say, ‘this is my body given for you.’ The priest does this himself every day and makes his life one of total sacrifice for the good of the Church. Married couples die to themselves and make their lives a total sacrifice for the other, as well as, their children. On this Feast of Corpus Christi, may we all die to ourselves and seek to give more of ourselves to others. May each of us remain faithful in following the Lord as we receive his body and blood given for each of us.