“We are the Body of Christ” : Fr Lukasz Nawrat SDB, Salesian Community, Limerick, Ireland
Corpus Christi Sunday : Scripture Reading – Mark 14:12-16,22-26
This year is the bicentenary of the birth of the founder of the Salesians St John Bosco.
During his life St John Bosco received some remarkable dreams which were like visions. One of his best known was that of the Church being protected between two pillars in the sea.
In May 1862 he shared his experience of this dream. He could see a very big ship in the sea which he understood as the Church. There were many smaller ships drawn up to do battle against the big ship. Two pillars or columns were protruding from the sea a little distant from each other. On the top of one was a statue of Our Lady – with Help of Christians written beneath. On top of the other pillar was a host — beneath which was written Salvation of the Faithful. The commander of the ship was the Pope. He was steering the ship between those two columns or pillars. Many have reflected at length on this remarkable dream-vision experienced by St. John Bosco.
The pillar for the Christian community is Jesus in the Eucharist – Corpus Christi.
In times past our ancestors had to resort to celebrating the Eucharist at Mass rocks in quiet places. Many Irish writers tell of the faith of the Irish people in times of difficulty and poverty – it was their pillar, a living faith.
In his poem “Street Corner Christ” Patrick Kavanagh gives an insight into this living faith:
“I saw Christ today at a street corner stand,
In the rags of a beggar he stood,
he held ballads in his hand”.
In that poem he tells us that
“in buying his ballad he found Him
whom the pieties have vainly sought”.
We are the Body of Christ.
When we come to celebrate the Eucharist we come as we are, with our many life stories, stories joy, stories of hope, stories of anxiety, and stories of illness.
-Each story has a place at the table of the Eucharist.
There we are taken and blessed with the grains of the bread. When we receive the body and blood of Christ we are changed and become strengthened to live as Christ, learning all the time to see Christ in one another.
Three year ago this month, the Eucharistic Congress was held in Dublin and the theme of the congress was “Communion with Christ and with one another.” A prayer which we make each time we pray Eucharistic Prayer 3: ‘Grant that we, who are nourished by the Body and Blood of your Son and filled with his Holy Spirit, may become one body, one spirit in Christ.’
Jesus said: “those who eats my flesh and drinks my blood lives in me and I live in them.” – The Pillar of life.
Fr Lukasz Nawrat SDB, Salesian Community, Limerick, Ireland