Thursday, June 22, 2006

Thursday within Octave of Corpus Christi

Homily of St Cyril of Alexandria, Lessons vii-ix Nocturn III
He that eateth my Flesh and drinketh my Blood, saith the Lord, dwelleth in me, and I in him.  If a man take two pieces of wax and melt them, and pour the one into the other, they necessarily mingle ; so also, he that receiveth the Body and Blood of the Lord doth become so joined with the Lord that he is to be found in Christ and Christ in him.  Another comparison thou wilt find in Matthew.  The Lord there saith : The kingdom of heaven is like unto leaven which a woman took, and hid in three measures of meal till whole was leavened.  Even as Paul saith : A little leaven leaveneth the whole lump : so also doth a little of this Blessing draw the whole man unto itself, and fill him with its grace ; and thus doth Christ dwell in us, and we in Christ.As for ourselves, if we would win life everlasting―if we would that the Giver of Immortality should dwell in us―let us run freely to receive this Blessing, and let us beware that the devil succeed not in laying a stumbling-block in our way, in the shape of a mistaken reverence.  Thou rightly sayest, and we know well, how that it is written : Whosoever shall eat this Bread and drink this Cup of the Lord, unworthily, shall be guilty ; he eateth and drinketh judgement to himself.  I therefore examine myself and find myself unworthy.  And I ask thee, who citest these words to me, who is it that shall ever be found worthy?  When, pray, wilt thou be such an one as may be worthy to be offered to Christ?  For if, because of sin, thou art unworthy, and dost not cease to sin, (for as the Psalmist hath it : Who can tell how oft he offendeth?) then shalt thou on these grounds for ever lack this means of life and sanctification.Wherefore I counsel thee to betake thee to godly thoughts, and to live as a zealous and devout servant of God, and then to make bold to receive this Blessing ; for it is a Blessing which, believe me, doth banish not death only, but all diseases likewise.  For when Christ dwelleth in us, he stilleth the law of sin in our members, which warreth against the law of our mind.  He giveth strength to godliness ; he turneth to calm the turbulent surging of our minds ; he cureth them which are sick ; he raiseth up them which are fallen ; and, as the Good Shepherd, which giveth his life for the sheep, he prevaileth that the sheep perish not.

Eucharistic Miracle at Bagno di Romagna, Italy, 1412

This Eucharistic miracle occurred in the small Italian town of Bagno di Romagna as a priest was celebrating Mass and having great doubts about the True Presence of Our Lord in the Eucharist. After consecrating the wine, he looked into the chalice and was shocked to see wine turned to blood. It began to bubble out of the chalice and onto the corporal. Shaken by the event, the priest prayed for forgiveness. He eventually was given the title Venerable because of the pious life he led after the miracle. In 1958 an investigation confirmed the corporal contained human blood and still retained properties of blood nearly 600 years later. Perhaps the blood was bubbling to show us that Jesus is alive in the Eucharist. We reflect on how we need to change after receiving Him, letting Jesus become alive in us and filling us with the power of the Holy Spirit.
From Eucharistic Miracles by Joan Cruz, 1987, Tan Books and Publishers.