We have been going through some rather unprecedented times. Our entire world has been turned upside down, and although some restrictions imposed on us as a result of this pandemic have been lifted, we still are not feeling all that safe. We are uneasy about returning to our normal routines, and some predictions regarding the near future can be a bit scary, (depending on who you listen to). And the unknown certainly upsets the “planners” among us!
During these past weeks we learned of a prayer that perhaps we had never heard of before. I know that I had never heard it before! But we are all very familiar with it now—and Andrew has composed such a beautiful setting for it! Let’s go back over those words once again:
I believe that you are present in the Most Holy Sacrament.
I love You above all things,
And I desire to receive You into my soul.
Since I cannot at this moment receive You sacramentally,
Come at least spiritually into my heart.
I embrace You as if You were already there
And unite myself wholly to You.
Never permit me to be separated from you.
It’s interesting how a prayer about NOT being able to receive Communion really captures the very heart of what it means to be able to receive such a wonderful gift! There is a beautiful tone of longing in those words. Is there a longing in our hearts to receive the Eucharist.
What’s the first thing we pray for in this prayer of Spiritual Communion? Faith; that we believe what Jesus told us: he’s present, with us, longing to be part of us. It’s amazing when you think about it! The bread and wine become the body and blood of Jesus. The miracle of transubstantiation. He offers Himself to us.
The prayer then focuses on the relationship that Holy Communion demands. Remember, we receive a Person when we receive the Eucharist. Jesus wants to come to us and be with us. And the Lord gives us the grace to desire to be united with him. Once we have received this connection, we pray that we will never lose the desire to be united with Christ.
So, in many ways, Corpus Christi 2020 is a very special celebration in the life of the church. Perhaps we are more aware than ever before how precious this gift of the Eucharist really is. We pray that as we move forward in faith, we will all be able to come together around the table of the Lord. In the meantime, we know that during these difficult times the Lord does not abandon us. The longing to receive Jesus is itself a gift from God. Stay faithful and united in Jesus, in the most holy sacrament of the altar!