What I learned on Corpus Christi this year

The first Sunday we went back to Mass was the feast of Corpus Christi. I was delighted to realize we could mark this feast, one of my absolute favorites, by receiving the actual corpus Christi inside the church building at last, back where we belong.

I have never been angry or bitter at our bishop for keeping Mass closed to the public. If we’re Catholics, we can’t just go get what we want and ignore the risk to the vulnerable. Even if it’s the body of Christ we want. Especially if it’s the body of Christ we want.

But oh, it was good to be back, even with masks, in alternate pews, with the sweet smells of early June roses and candle wax blending strangely with the increasingly familiar scent of hand sanitizer. I was so glad our separation was over, so glad we could be moving forward and starting to figure out how to safely make life more normal again.

Then came the first reading, and it hit me right between the eyes.  It’s a short reading, and very pointed. Moses exhorts the people to remember how God brought them out of Egypt, and how God dealt with them in the desert.

It’s a reading chosen for Corpus Christi because it reminds us: Look, from the very beginning, God has been leading you and feeding you. God doesn’t mind his business up in heaven, but he comes to us in the desert and gives us manna, and then he brings us home. Perfect for the feast day.

But it hit me so hard because of how it’s framed. It doesn’t just tell the story of how God cared for the people. It’s also the story of why God treated them as He did, and it’s a command to think about it and remember it, learn from it…Read the rest of my latest for The Catholic Weekly

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6 thoughts on “What I learned on Corpus Christi this year”

  1. Dear Simcha
    I have a bit of a question, sorry if it takes a minute.
    Background: I was an original nerd and one of the first users of arpnet, the
    Forerunner of the internet. I used it in my first job in 1984, a long time ago. But I have never understood chat groups, myspace, Facebook or Twitter. Why use an essentially anonymous room full of artificial entities who shout ?
    As Catholics we love being in churches full of people, both known and unknown but all visible and there for shared purpose.
    I would genuinely love to know how “social media” is a good thing? I am not being sarcastic or rude but I cannot see why humans use these forums. Could you point me to an explanation as I genuinely cannot see it.
    Kindest Regards
    Mark b

    PS I don’t mind if you make the reply private, I really want to know and value your view.

    1. Fair question.
      I use social media to promote and disseminate my work. I also use it to contact people I wouldn’t ordinarily be able to get in touch with quickly. For instance, I can put out a message that says “Did you have to cancel your wedding because of Coronavirus? If you would care to be interviewed about your experience, please contact me” and people can check out my profile and get an idea of whether they want to contact me or not, and when they respond, I can check out their profile for the same reason. Makes my job much easier. The same is true for people who have any kind of business to run.

      Friends and I also frequently use social media to organize fund raisers and prayer requests for people in trouble. I also keep in touch with family and have frequent chats and share photos with people I don’t often get to see in person.

      Probably the best thing about social media is the friends I have made. Some of them, I have gone on to meet in person, and some are online-only friends, but they are real friends just the same.

      There is also all the bad, ugly, wretched stuff that everybody knows about. Some of it is serious enough to make people not want to be on social media at all, and I understand that. The same conditions that help like minded people become friends and support each other also helps like minded people encourage each other in their evil, and work together to harm people. It just be that way.

  2. You’ve given me something to strive for. I’m not there yet. I’m still burned out from reading Catholic articles about how if the bishops really had faith in the Eucharist, they would have broken the law and refused to suspend public Masses.

    I too received for the first time on Corpus Christi, and it was a beautiful experience. I had found the livestream Masses from my parish to be meaningful, but it was great to get back to the sacraments. However, I would make the sacrifice again in a heartbeat to protect the lives of others.

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