Corpus Christi: the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus Christ. The whole mystery of God – from Christmas to Easter and beyond – packaged and given to us to be opened… plundered.
This is how God becomes ‘concrete’ in time, how he becomes personal, how he enters our lives…
This then is the big one!
But unfortunately for us (and it will be unfortunate!) in our day we’ve lost the importance of Mass. So, during the week I gave some thought to how I might register the cosmic significance of the Mass – even that’s understating it! Eventually I settled on using the events in Fatima to stress the centrality of the Mass in God’s design.
There’s a little known detail about Fatima that is so instructive in this regard. Shortly before the appearances of Our Lady in Fatima in 1917 an angel appeared to the three children. But the angel didn’t come empty handed.
The angel carried a host and a chalice in his hands… blood spilled from the host into the chalice. The children instantly recognized the host and the chalice as the central elements of the Mass.
Let’s stop at this point to reflect.
Why didn’t the angel bring a can of coke and a packet of crisps? Why not a glass of beer and a steak burger from the BBQ?
Then the angel did something even more instructive. Leaving the host and the chalice suspended in mid-air, the angel prostrated himself (bowed down before) the suspended host and chalice, taught the children to do the same, on their knees with their foreheads touching the ground and taught them a prayer.
Let’s stop again.
Why didn’t the angel say they should surf the waves on a Sunday morning and find God there? Or climb a mountain? Or go for a walk or a 10 kilometre run?
Why? Because God has chosen the way in which he gives himself – in bread and wine, the Mass!
Let’s look at the prayer, it’s equally instructive.
Most Holy Trinity, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, I adore you profoundly. I offer you the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus Christ present in all the tabernacles of the world, in reparation for all the outrages, sacrileges and indifference by which you are offended. Through the infinite merits of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary I beg the conversion of poor sinners.
“Holy Trinity” (last Sunday); “Body and Blood… present in all the tabernacles” (today, Corpus Christi); “Sacred Heart” (next Friday) – there’s reason to these things, order!
Of all the prayers the angel could have taught, why this prayer?
The immediate purpose of Fatima was to prevent World War II – Our Lady told the children in 1917 that if people didn’t stop offending God a more terrible war would break out…
There’s a basic spiritual principle to be extracted here – the rejection of God (in other words the acceptance of sin) always ends in the figure of a crucified humanity. The rule of sin always leads to ruin.
I’ll finish with a question; according to the events that occurred in Fatima how important is the Mass?