Monday, February 06, 2012

Exposition of Blessed Sacrament: Is that YOU, God?

As Catholics I think we seem to have lost the sense of awesomeness of Jesus’ presence in the monstrance and perhaps in Eucharist.  Weekly we watch the priest and the Eucharistic Minister evenly distribute the consecrated hosts among all the chalices.  It appears to be a rather mundane task. A host may fall to the altar and the priest puts it into one of the waiting chalices.  The wine is poured, hopefully not too much so that it has to be consumed in a large gulp by one of the attendants later, but enough to be distributed to anyone who wishes to partake of the Precious Blood.   Along with the repetition of a weekly (or more) activity, these ordinary tasks relegate the extra- ordinary to a mundane level as the church body observes.   So during the Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament altho what we see in the encasement surrounded by a solid gold design may not be fully appreciated, it IS the Body of Christ.

Centuries ago when saints and heroes died the relics were divided, including body parts.  We may find this practice distasteful in 2012 but it was done.  At the Last Supper Jesus made the bread and wine become his Precious Body and Blood.  But imagine for a moment that he hadn’t used those simple forms.  We’ve seen and heard of 1st, 2nd and 3rd class relics.  They are pieces of the saints’ skin, their clothing or maybe something that was touched to the saints’ clothing that is considered a valued object.  I was recently given (and treasure) earth from Saint Thérèse of Lisieux’s 1st burial exhumation on 9-6-1910.

 So how might we react if the next time we attend Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament there was a lock of Jesus’ actual hair or a piece of bone or skin in the monstrance?  What if the golden monstrance contained a splinter of wood from Jesus’ own cross that had been covered with Our Lord’s blood?   It is the Body of Christ.  Smooth white round wafer or not.

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