On June 22nd, we celebrated the Solemnity of Corpus Christi (enjoy the lil’ video of pics from our Eucharistic Procession below). The first reading for the Solemnity is taken from Deuteronomy 8:
Remember how for forty years now the LORD, your God, has directed all your journeying in the desert, so as to test you by affliction and find out whether or not it was your intention to keep his commandments. He therefore let you be afflicted with hunger, and then fed you with manna, a food unknown to you and your fathers, in order to show you that not by bread alone does one live, but by every word that comes forth from the mouth of the LORD.
Do not forget the LORD, your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, that place of slavery; who guided you through the vast and terrible desert with its saraph serpents and scorpions, its parched and waterless ground; who brought forth water for you from the flinty rock and fed you in the desert with manna, a food unknown to your fathers.”
REMEMBER. This reading recounts marvelous memories of the Lord’s goodness. It is remembering Israel’s history. And, when reading it yesterday, I sensed that it was daring us to remember how the Lord has unfailingly directed our own journey! Daring us to remember our thirst and our hunger. And to remember Him Who satisfied (and satisfies) every thirst and every hunger. To remember the slavery and the fearsome desert. And to remember Who brought water from the rock and gave us manna to suit every taste. Remember…
Do you remember?
Do you remember the moment when you first knew the Lord? Do you remember the hunger and the thirst? Do you remember when you first realized that Our Eucharistic Lord could and does satisfy our hunger, our thirst, and our deepest longing?
On the Solemnity of Corpus Christi, I spent the day remembering. Remembering when I was a junior in high school and, through God’s grace, an inquisitive friend, and my mom’s witness, I came to believe in Jesus’ True Presence. I remember that blessed day when this Truth became a reality in my life; I remember that moment…it is frozen in time! (It was also the day that I first desired Religious Life, when I first desired to give myself totally as Jesus had given Himself to me in the Blessed Sacrament.) I’m sure I had heard about the doctrine of the Real Presence before that day, but it wasn’t until then – that graced moment – that I believed, that I truly turned to the Lord and believed. Believed with my head and my heart. Believed and encountered. I remember how with this new-found faith came a desire to make a response…to give love for Love. And I remember the days that came before: the hunger, the thirst, the desert, the emptiness. Even these were gift…because they allowed me to experience the emptiness of a heart without Jesus as it’s King. I remember the pure gift of it ALL: and I give thanks.
What about you? Were you like a St John the Baptist who knew from the womb that Jesus was Lord (Happy Solemnity of the Nativity of St. John the Baptist, by the way)? Or did you come to faith later in life? Did you wander for some time in the desert? Do you remember that time in the desert? Do you remember the hunger and the thirst? Did you ever imagine it could be satisfied in such a way as to leave us longing for Him more? Do you remember the moment when you knew Jesus was truly Present in the Eucharist – Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity?
What’s your story? Dare to remember! And then, ah, just rejoice in His love and join us in giving thanks for so great a Gift!