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June 11, 2023: The Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ

Years ago, a woman at daily Mass approached me in the communion procession. She had her arms crossed, indicating she wanted a blessing instead of the Sacred Host. She had tears in her eyes. I gave her a little blessing. She returned the next day. And the next. The same thing repeated. After a few weeks, I asked her why she didn’t receive Holy Communion. She said she wasn’t Catholic yet and was preparing to become so. I asked her why she wanted to be Catholic. She said, “Because I long to be in a real communion with Christ and with everyone I love.” That, I submit, is a darn good reason. A few months later, she became Catholic and received the Body and Blood of Christ with unspeakably great joy and still does to this day.

Saint Paul says of the Eucharistic bread, “Is it not a participation in the body of Christ?” For Paul, the answer is obvious. Yes, it is exactly that. Which is why he can say, “we, though many, are one body.” Jesus is truly, really, and substantially present in the Holy Eucharist. This is no magic trick, but a mystery of our salvation. He feeds us with the Sacrament of his body so that our communion with him — and with the other members of his body — is built up and becomes mature. That’s why the Eucharist quenches our deep thirst for love and communion. The Body and Blood of Christ is the best reason to be Catholic. It’s our participation of love in the one we love.

— Father John Muir



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