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Feast of Corpus Christ

Through Mary’s faith we can receive the gift of Jesus' presence in the Eucharist.

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Dear brothers and sisters, Fiat!

Today we celebrate the Solemnity of the Body and Blood of the Lord. Jesus living in the Eucharist, is given to us in the consecrated bread that feeds us, sustains us, gives us strength, saves us. May Mary Most Holy, Woman of the Eucharist, help us in our reflection.

Let us take the words of the Holy Father as lines of reflection, of prayer, of commitment.

 “Do this”. That is, take bread, give thanks and break it; take the chalice, give thanks, and share it. Jesus gives the command to repeat this action by which he instituted the memorial of his own Pasch, and in so doing gives us his Body and his Blood. This action reaches us today: it is the “doing” of the Eucharist which always has Jesus as its subject, but which is made real through our poor hands anointed by the Holy Spirit.

“Do this”. Jesus on a previous occasion asked his disciples to “do” what was so clear to him, in obedience to the will of the Father. In the Gospel passage that we have just heard, Jesus says to the disciples in front of the tired and hungry crowds: “Give them something to eat yourselves” (Lk 9:13). Indeed, it is Jesus who blesses and breaks the loaves and provides sufficient food to satisfy the whole crowd, but it is the disciples who offer the five loaves and two fish. Jesus wanted it this way: that, instead of sending the crowd away, the disciples would put at his disposal what little they had. And there is another gesture: the pieces of bread, broken by the holy and venerable hands of Our Lord, pass into the poor hands of the disciples, who distribute these to the people. This too is the disciples “doing” with Jesus; with him they are able to “give them something to eat”.

Clearly this miracle was not intended merely to satisfy hunger for a day, but rather it signals what Christ wants to accomplish for the salvation of all mankind, giving his own flesh and blood. Jesus was broken; he is broken for us. And he asks us to give ourselves, to break ourselves, as it were, for others. This “breaking bread” became the icon, the sign for recognizing Christ and Christians.

We think of Emmaus: they knew him “in the breaking of the bread” . We recall the first community of Jerusalem: “They held steadfastly… to the breaking of the bread”. From the outset it is the Eucharist which becomes the centre and pattern of the life of the Church
But we think also of all the saints – famous or anonymous – who have “broken” themselves, their own life, in order to “give something to eat” to their brothers and sisters. How many mothers, how many fathers, together with the slices of bread they provide each day on the tables of their homes, have broken their hearts to let their children grow, and grow well!

How many Christians, as responsible citizens, have broken their own lives to defend the dignity of all, especially the poorest, the marginalized and those discriminated! Where do they find the strength to do this? It is in the Eucharist: in the power of the Risen Lord’s love, who today too breaks bread for us and repeats: “Do this in remembrance of me” (Pope Francis).

St. John Paul II presents Mary Most Holy as “Woman of the Eucharist”, “Blessed is she who believed”. Mary also anticipated, in the mystery of the incarnation, the Church's Eucharistic faith. When, at the Visitation, she bore in her womb the Word made flesh, she became in some way a “tabernacle” – the first “tabernacle” in history – in which the Son of God, still invisible to our human gaze, allowed himself to be adored by Elizabeth, radiating his light as it were through the eyes and the voice of Mary. And is not the enraptured gaze of Mary as she contemplated the face of the newborn Christ and cradled him in her arms that unparalleled model of love which should inspire us every time we receive Eucharistic communion?

Mary is present, with the Church and as the Mother of the Church, at each of our celebrations of the Eucharist. If the Church and the Eucharist are inseparably united, the same ought to be said of Mary and the Eucharist. This is one reason why, since ancient times, the commemoration of Mary has always been part of the Eucharistic celebrations of the Churches of East and West. (Encyclical Letter Ecclesia De Eucharistia).

On April 16, 1927, Jesus explained to Luisa how our Lord placed  the deposit of His Sacramental life in the heart of the Virgin Mary. When Jesus does an act, first He looks to see whether there is at least one creature in whom to place the deposit of His act, so that she may take the good He does, and keep it safe and well defended. Now, when He instituted the Most Holy Sacrament, He looked for this creature, and the Virgin Mary offered Herself to receive this act of His and the deposit of this great gift, saying to Him: ‘My Son, just as I offered You my womb and my whole being in your conception, to keep You safe and defended, I now offer You my maternal Heart in order to receive this great deposit, and I line up, around your Sacramental Life, my affections, my heartbeats, my love, my thoughts – all of Myself, to keep You defended, surrounded by cortege, loved, protected. I Myself take on the commitment to repay You for the great gift You are giving. Trust your Mama, and I will take care of the defense of your Sacramental Life. And since You Yourself have constituted Me Queen of all Creation, I have the right to line up around You all the light of the sun as homage and adoration, the stars, the heavens, the sea, all the inhabitants of the air – I place everything around You, to give You love and glory.’

Now, ensuring a place for Himself in which to put this great deposit of His Sacramental Life, and trusting His Mother who had given Him all the proofs of Her faithfulness, He instituted the Most Holy Sacrament. She was the only worthy creature who could keep, defend and protect His act. See, then, when creatures receive Him, He descends into them together with the acts of His inseparable Mother; and only because of this He can perpetuate His Sacramental Life. Therefore, whenever He wants to do a great work worthy of Him, it is necessary that He first chooses one creature – first, in order to have a place in which to put His gift; second, to be repaid for it.

They do the same also in the natural order. If a farmer wants to sow a seed, he does not throw it in the middle of the street, but he goes in search of a little field. First he works it, he forms the furrow, and then he sows the seed in it; and to keep it safe, he covers it with earth, anxiously waiting for the harvest in order to be repaid for his work, and for the seed which he entrusted to the earth. Someone else wants to form a beautiful object: first he prepares the raw materials, the place in which to put it, and then he forms it. So Jesus did for Luisa. He chose her, He prepared her, and then He entrusted to her the great gift of the manifestations of the Divine Will; and just as He entrusted the destiny of His Sacramental Life to His beloved Mother, in the same way He wanted to trust Luisa, entrusting to her the destiny of the Kingdom of the Divine Will.

don Marco
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