Rector's Column

Becoming What We Receive

June 22, 2014

On Pentecost Sunday, as we celebrated the great feast of the community of apostles and disciples becoming Christ’s Church, St. Callistus Parish became Christ Cathedral.  While the same in service and ministry to its members, the parish has become the bishop’s church, now extending its service and ministry to the broader Church of the Diocese of Orange.

This weekend we celebrate the feast of Corpus Christi, the Body of Christ, honoring the profound belief at the heart of our Catholic faith that the bread and wine offered at the celebration of the Eucharist becomes the Body of Christ.  The elements of bread and wine are not symbols or reminders of the Body of Christ, they are the Body of Christ, as the Church for centuries has said, ”Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity.” They are the real presence of the resurrected Lord.  In the Eucharist, what looks and tastes like bread and wine becomes the Body of Christ for us to receive.

As Catholics we are in awe of what happens to the bread and wine in the Eucharist as they become the Body and Blood of Christ.  Today’s feast also invites us to marvel that as those who receive the Body of Christ we are to be the Body of Christ in the world.  Now, it is not only about what happens to the bread and wine, it is also about what happens to us.

St. Augustine in a sermon on the Eucharist instructs us as we look at the Body of Christ when it is held up at Mass: “Behold who you are. Become what you receive.”

As Christ Cathedral celebrates Eucharist on this feast of the Body of Christ, may we remember how very much the world needs us to become what we receive.