June 2, 2013 A View from the Rectory Window

Last week as we celebrated Memorial Day weekend, I could not help but consider how we recognize how important it is to remember and be remembered. This week, as we celebrate the Feast of the Body and Blood of Our Lord and are given Our Lord’s words, “Do this in remembrance of me… . (1 Cor 11:24 inter al), my thoughts turned to the Remembrance of the Eucharist

What is remembrance and why is it important? In effect, to “remember” is to have present in your mind what God has done for you so that you’re grateful, to have it so present to you, so that you are different. God has saved us, made us his children, and opened heaven for us. Yet, our minds are very weak and we too easily let this slip from our conscious thoughts. Thus, the summons to “remembrance” that is so common in the Eucharistic liturgy, is a summons to our minds to be open to, and powerfully aware of what the Lord has done for us, “Don’t just stand or kneel there, forgetting, let this be present to you as a living and conscious reality, that changes you!”

Are you a mouse or a (wo)man? So here comes a question. Back in my seminary days we were all given the example of a mouse who runs across the altar and takes a consecrated host and runs off and eats it. And we were asked, “Does he eat the body of Christ?” Yes! For the Eucharist has a reality unto itself. “But does he receive a sacrament?” No! A mouse has no mind. It eats the very Body of Christ but to no avail for it has no conscious awareness or appreciation of what (whom) it eats. And so here comes the next question – Are you a mouse or a (wo)man?

How do you receive Holy Communion? Do you go up mindlessly, shuffling along in the Communion line in a mechanistic way? Or do you go up powerfully aware of He, whom you are about to receive? Do you remember, do you have vividly present to your mind what the Lord has done for you? Are you grateful and amazed at what he has done and what he offers? Or are you just like a mouse having something mindlessly put into your mouth?

Some people put more faith in Tylenol than they do the Eucharist. Why? Because when they take Tylenol they actually expect something to happen, for the pain to go away, and for there to be relief and healing. But when it comes to Holy Communion, they expect next to nothing. To them, it’s just a ritual, time to go up and get the wafer, (pardon the expression).

Really?! Nothing? How can this be? At some level it can be no better than a mouse eating a host. We are receiving the Lord of all creation, yet most expect little.

This week the Church says, “Remember!” “Have present to your mind all that the Lord has done for you and what he is about to do. Let this reality of the Lord’s presence be alive in your mind so that it changes you and makes you profoundly grateful and joyful. Become the One you receive!”

Monsignor Peter M. Joyce

On this Solemnity of the Body of Christ we are summoned to deepen our faith in the Lord, present in the Eucharist, and acting through his Sacraments. Routine may have dulling effects, but it cannot be so that we receive the Lord of glory each Sunday in any way that would be called mindless.

Ask the Lord to anoint your mind so that you remember and never forget.