Giving an account to Jesus
Fr. IRENEUSZ SKUBIŚ
Prepare him room,
Lord comes from heaven,
Hidden under the form of bread.
He comes to see our houses
And to see how his children are doing.
(Franciszek Karpinski, the 18th c.)
This is a fragment of the Eucharistic song for the Feast of Corpus Christi. It is a big event in the universal Church and a wonderful event in every parish. Lord Jesus comes to us. Here we recollect the challenge of Blessed John Paul II to the universal Church that we should contemplate the Face of Christ in the third millennium. To contemplate his Face, to look at his eyes and listen to what he wants to tell us. The Holy Father wanted to remind people that God was a Person and he loved each individually and that man encountered God personally. Here one can also refer to the example of John Paul II’s contacts with people. He looked at someone as if that person was the only one in the world – only that person and the Pope. Thus the Holy Father knew what he encouraged believers to do, speaking about contemplating the Face of Jesus. He was a mystic himself and he prayed a lot; experienced Lord Jesus in his heart and through his reflection on the universal Church. In the new millennium he very much wanted people to see God who was love.
'I, the LORD, am your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, that place of slavery,’ God spoke to Moses, giving him the commandments and making a covenant with him (cf. Deuteronomy 5:6; Exodus 24:12; 32:16; 34:1). Today this God stands before people and each of us. These words should begin our reflections on the procession on Corpus Christi. Since it is a personal encounter with God. Let us notice who much effort we make preparing a visit of someone important, e.g., how much a president’s or some other VIP’s visit abroad costs. And here God himself, the Creator of heaven and earth, comes under the Eucharistic Kinds and says, ‘This is my Body; this is my Blood. Take and eat…’ Could people have something greater than the Blessed Sacrament – God present among us?
This sacrament decides about the life in the presence of Jesus in the Church and people’s community. It is important that we are aware of God’s presence in our lives. We should be aware of that during our wonderful encounter that takes place in the procession on Corpus Christi. Since it is a meeting with the living and true God. And we should realise that Jesus himself comes to us, visits us, wandering along the streets of our villages and towns. He comes to be close to us. He comes again to those who go to church and those who neglect him he wants to say, ‘Look, here I am, come, join us. I do care for you and I want to bless you…’
But the procession on the Feast of Corpus Christi is not only an individual dimension of our encounter with God but it is also a social dimension. Jesus comes to the environments of our lives to stress that it is God’s territory and he wants it to be a realm of peace, love and justice. Jesus himself does not come armoured, with a shield, but he comes with an open Heart, with his rich love and God’s plan for people, with the perspective of their salvation. He comes to people not to condemn them but to show them his love, to respect their freedom and tell them that he always waits for them.
‘He comes to see our houses and see how his children are doing’ – we sing during the procession. Since the human reality is not indifferent to God. That’s why he comes to us. He wants to ask whether we are well, whether we are happy; to see what our families look like, what our local communities we are responsible for look like.
Finally, the Eucharistic Jesus, carried in the monstrance – a different way of his presence: smell of flowers, fresh plants and birds’ singing – stirs our conscience encouraging us to lead wonderful lives worthy of God’s children. Divorces and conflicts in families as well as harms caused by the wave of immigration, unconcern and comfort and problems resulting from poverty and unemployment contradict this life. Then we should give an account of all these things to Lord Jesus – not only examining our conscience but also the sphere of our responsibility for our communal life, the life of our parish, the condition of our church or chapel, our home Church, schools, organisations and local communities. I think that every believer should prepare such an account before the day of Corpus Christi.
Therefore, may this procession of Corpus Christi not only be an experience for those who build the altars but may those who will participate in the procession in any way know that they should give an account to Jesus Christ who loves man and wants only good for him.