Today’s ✠Challoner Meditation: Corpus Christi

Archbishop Jerome Lloyd OSJVPosted by

CORPUS CHRISTI DAY

ON THE INSTITUTION OF THE BLESSED EUCHARIST

Consider first, how our Lord, having finished the course of his mortal life, ‘when his hour was now come that he should pass out of this world to the Father, having his own who metre in the world,’ says the beloved disciple, John xiii. 1, ‘he loved them unto the end,’ and gave them in the last stage of his life the most evident tokens of his boundless love, as well in what he endured out of pure love for us in his passion and death as in the institution of the eucharistic sacrifice and sacrament at his last supper, as an admirable legacy of love; in which, and by which, he might not only always be with us to the end of the world, but might also unite himself to us in such a manner as that we should abide in him and he in us, John vi. 56. O how wonderful are the ways of his divine love! How incomprehensible the riches of his bounty and goodness to us! What could he give us more than when he gives us himself? What could he do more to testify his affection for us? Is it possible, my soul, we should ever forget or be ungrateful to such a lover.

Consider 2ndly, the infinite treasures which our Lord has bequeathed to us in the institution of these divine mysteries, which contain an inexhaustible source of divine grace: the living bread, the food, the nourishment, the strength, and the life of our souls; the manna of heaven, the tree of life, spirit, truth, and life itself; the remedy of all our evils, the most powerful medicine for all our diseases; the sovereign antidote against the poison of the infernal serpent, the comfort of our banishment, the support of our pilgrimage, the price of our ransom, the earnest of our eternal salvation, the great sacrifice and victim of the New Testament, by means of which we are enabled to give worthy praise, adoration, and homage to God; to return him acceptable thanks; and to apply daily to our souls all the fruits of the death and passion of the Son of God – as well for the remission of all our sins as for the obtaining of all good through him, both for time and eternity. In a word, he has bequeathed to us in these heavenly mysteries his own sacred body and blood, together with his soul and divinity – so rich a present that heaven can give nothing greater.

Consider 3rdly, what could be the motive that induced our Lord to communicate himself and all his treasures to us in this wonderful manner by the institution of the blessed Eucharist? O my soul, it was no other but his own pure goodness and love. It was that by this means he might always be with us, ‘for his delight is to be with the children of men.’ Prov. viii. 31. It was that he might unite us to himself, that he might abide in us and we in him. O, who ever heard of such love as this! But what didst thou see in me, dearest Lord, that could claim thy love, and such a love – in me, a poor worm of the earth, and what is infinitely worse, a most ungrateful, wicked sinner, a traitor to thee and to thy Father, who has so often crucified thee by my repeated crimes? O ye heavens, be astonished at this prodigy of my Saviour’s bounty and love for me, and of my wickedness and ingratitude in not making him a better return! O, my soul, let us begin now at least to be wholly his; let nothing henceforward be capable of separating us any more from this divine Lover.

Conclude to be ever thankful for this unspeakable benefit of the institution of the blessed sacrament and sacrifice of the altar. Join now with the church in celebrating this octave with an extraordinary devotion, in acknowledgment of thy Saviour’s goodness and love, which he has shown to us in these mysteries, and make the best amends thou art able, by thy diligence in this devotion, for the many affronts, abuses, and sacrileges to which thy Saviour has here exposed himself for the love of thee.

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