Weekly Reflection 6/14/2020

The Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ
June 13-14, 2020
On 11 August 1264, Pope Urban IV issued the Papal Bull Transiturus de Hoc Mundo which established the great feast of Corpus Christ, the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ. In this public decree to the faithful, Pope Urban recalls for us Jesus establishing the sacrament of the Holy Eucharist.  We hear the words of Jesus to His Apostles during the last supper at every mass we attend in the words of consecration.  And we hear Jesus’ decree, “Do this in memory of me!”  We as Catholics hold as a fundamental belief that Jesus is truly present, body, blood, soul, and divinity in the Eucharist.  Jesus told us that himself. Sadly, I read a Pew Research Center poll done in 2019 of ‘Catholics’ that only 31% believe in the real presence of Jesus Christ in the Eucharist. Then I came upon a story of a Catholic couple that gave me hope. The husband was a cradle catholic; the wife was a convert. She had questions about the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist until she found a translation of a hymn written by St Thomas Aquinas. The last portion of that hymn we know as Tatum Ergo. The hymn was written at the request of Pope Urban IV specifically for the Feast of Corpus Christi in 1264.  The Latin phrase, “Præstet fides supplementum Sensuum defectui.” translates, “Let faith provide a supplement, For the failure of the senses.” The commentary on the translation came down to this, “Faith tells us that Christ is present, When our human senses fail.” What is this holy day we celebrate, The Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ? In the words of Pope Urban, “a more solemn and special annual memorial” of what Jesus gave us in himself, the Eucharist; His real presence, His Body, His Blood, His Soul and His divinity. Faith in the word of Christ over our own intellect; that convert mother, when their children were in mass, during consecration, would whisper into their ears, “First its bread, now it’s Jesus. First it’s wine, now it’s Jesus”.  It really is that simple.
Deacon Chuck Hoppe