Dear Fellow Members of Saint Joseph-Saint Pius X Parish, today we celebrate the Feast of Corpus Christi (The Body and Blood of Christ). We always celebrate this feast the Sunday after Trinity Sunday. Because of this it usually falls at the end of the month of May or sometime in the Month of June (depending upon when Easter is). It is a Feast day that holds many traditions with it. These celebrations were meant to demonstrate the whole community’s spirit of gratitude for Jesus sacrifice of his own body and his own blood. The roots of this celebration and even our gratitude stem from the very core of our spiritual DNA as Catholics, Christians and humans. Our experience of what a sacrifice and a covenant and the meaning we assigned to them. I think that we intuitively understand the relationship of sacrifice and covenant. We see that intuition in the child who cleans his or her room to get an ice cream or watch a favorite TV show. It also can be seen in the deals that are struck between us and ratified by hundreds of pages of legal small print that we call contracts. In both of these cases there is a sacrifice promised and a reward promised. The child offers the sacrifice of some playtime to clean his or her room, the Parent promises the reward of DQ or TV. The buyer promises the sacrifice of his or her hard earned cash and the Seller promises the reward of some item or service. This relation between covenant and sacrifice is further nuanced when we consider the proportion of the size of the sacrifice and the size of the reward. A child may want more than just a candy bar or ice cream cone if he or she mows your two acre front lawn. There must be a proportional reward for such a sacrifice and vice versa. We as Christians are called to put these intuitions to work in our understanding of the Eucharist. This is a sacrifice which is offered and a reward which is given. The sacrifice is the Body and the Blood of Jesus Christ. The reward is freedom from sin and eternal life. These two things almost seem counter-intuitive, because they don’t work in our experience. It is as if God and Jesus were striking a deal between themselves which only benefited us. They made the sacrifice and they promised the reward, but we received the reward.
Strange Deal huh?