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Corpus Christi 14 June 2020

A Reflection* {only view of Aidan Troy}            

My earliest memory of the Feast of The Body and Blood of Christ was the Corpus Christi procession through the streets of Bray town with the Blessed Sacrament being carried. Altar servers, with thuribles, sent plumes of smoke up to the Monstrance being carried; girls who had made First Communion that year, walked at the front of the procession strewing rose petals. The procession ended at the seashore where there was a blessing of the sea, for water safety during the summer.

These were blessed occasions. Who could have foreseen how this Feast of Jesus would be celebrated in 2020? Certainly, not me. The blessings the Feast of Corpus Christi brings us are as great as ever. The challenges are maybe greater today than back in my childhood. A few signs of the time that I read today are:

  1. Covid19, through nobody’s fault leave few believers able to participate in person at Mass. This is becoming a possibility again as churches partially reopen, with great dedication of parishioners.
  2. An increasing number of our sisters and brothers around the world can seldom attend Mass. Mass once a year for some Catholics, as the Synod of Bishops 2019 revealed, is the norm due to a dwindling number of priests. This will spread worldwide more rapidly than may be realised.
  3. God’s special ones, children, are still awaiting the moment when Jesus comes to them in their First Holy Communion.

These are with us, but in them is the voice of God. God also sends us ‘hidden graces’ at this present time. A few reflections on these three points:

  1. To protect each other from this highly infectious virus is expected of us by God. In lockdown, we continued to be Temples of the Holy Spirit. God’s presence within us cannot be changed by any virus. With more time recently to pray for all in need and to listen, we were privileged to be in His presence day and night. The urgency to reopen churches was not because God was absent. His presence in us as Temples of the Holy Spirit is a precious gift to us.
  2. During our time apart, I missed you very much. No longer need I speculate on what it is like for people to have no Sunday Mass. Now I know what it is like for those millions of Catholics who rejoice in Mass about once each year. I need to hear this message of God speaking to us. Is it right for me to wait for a solution from someone else? Respectfully, I suggest that we could meet in prayer and reflection to act on what the Spirit is asking us to do to address this situation.
  3. What joy there will be when children soon welcome Jesus at their First Communion.

The pandemic has changed me more than I could imagine, with the pain of many because of Covid19. But I am filled with joy for the ‘hidden graces’ that we received almost unnoticed.

 

StJoeParis

Saint Joseph's Catholic Church
50 Avenue Hoche
75008 Paris, France
33(0)1 42 27 28 56
stjosephparis@wanadoo.fr

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