This Sunday we celebrate the Feast of Corpus Christi, which solemnly celebrates the institution of the Holy Eucharist. In the gospel reading this Sunday, Jesus says: "Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him on the last day. For my flesh is true food and my blood is true drink. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me and I in him." John 6: 55-56 As Catholics we believe that when the bread and wine is consecrated, it turns into the actual body and blood of Jesus. It is not a symbol or even a representation of the Last Supper. It actually IS the body and blood of our Lord and God!
This mystery of transubstantiation is, admittedly, a difficult teaching. One can try to wrap one's mind around it but how can one possibly understand that Christ can come down at every mass and become present, the blood and wine transformed into his very body and blood? I wrote a post titled "Weird Pang" on an experience I had recently how my heart seems to have finally gotten the message, in a most unexpected way.
A very interesting fact: 70% of Catholics do not attend church on Sunday. I will be the first to admit that there was a time that I did not attend church regularly, if at all. This was also during a time in my life that I was probably the least happy. It just was easy not to go to church when I was in college and beyond. It didn't seem like a big deal. I think this is the reason most people do not attend church regularly: mass is seen as not such a big deal. I can talk to God anytime. It isn't all that important. Mass times are not that convenient. I don't like the pastor. The music is horrible. The list of excuses could go on and on.
But the conclusion that I have come to as to why people do not attend church on Sunday is that they do not get transubstantiation. God loved us so much that he sent his only Son. And Jesus then allowed himself to be tortured, nailed to a cross and died for us, for our sins. I think we all THINK God's love is great, but have we allowed ourselves to FEEL this great love from God? If you think about your own life, is there someone in your life who loves you like this? If you are lucky enough to answer yes, I'm sure you spend time with this person. Or would you find excuses and walk away from that kind of love?
I think we have either never understood what going to church is all about or we have let it become so routine that it now seems unimportant. We are at church to gather as a community to praise God and most importantly to RECEIVE HIM!!! He comes to us every mass in the form of the Eucharist to strengthen us on our journey. Would you walk away? Walk away from Jesus, from God himself? Personally, I'm sad to say that in the past, I did walk away. If only I truly knew what I was doing back then, I don't think I ever could have left. If you have walked away, maybe it's time to come back home! God loves you and wants to be with you.