Today’s ✠Challoner Meditation: Corpus Christi

Archbishop Jerome Lloyd OSJVPosted by

SUNDAY WITHIN THE OCTAVE OF CORPUS CHRISTI

ON CHRIST’S INVITING US TO HIS HEAVENLY BANQUET

Consider first, those words of the parable of this day’s gospel, ‘A certain man made a great supper and invited many,’ Luke xiv. 16, and reflect how our Lord has indeed prepared a great banquet for us in the institution of the blessed sacrament, and has invited us all to it. ‘O sacred banquet,’ says the church, in the anthem used during this octave, ‘in which Christ is received, the memory of his passion is kept up, the soul is filled with grace, and a pledge is given us of the glory to come!’ A happy banquet, in which we feed upon the bread of heaven, and drink at the very source of the fountain of life! To this heavenly banquet the Son of God invites all the faithful in the most loving manner. ‘Come to me,’ says he, all you that labour, and are burthened, and I will refresh you,’ St. Matt. xi. 28. Ah! Christians, we all labour and lie under many and very heavy burthens from the sins and miseries to which we are exposed during our mortal pilgrimage; and in this heavenly banquet we come to Christ to be refreshed, nourished, and strengthened by him. O sweet invitation! O happy call to the source of grace here, and of endless glory hereafter.

Consider 2ndly, how much our Lord is offended by all such as refuse to correspond to his loving invitation, and to come to his banquet. He has prepared this banquet out of pure love, that we may feast with him and he with us. He desires, out of pure love, to impart himself and all his goods to us; and therefore justly resents his love being slighted by us, and our preferring the farm, the oxen, the wife, in a word, the world and the things of the world, before him and his banquet. Christians, if you have any love for Christ, surely you must be desirous of going to him, and entertaining yourselves with him in this great banquet of love. Love tends to union, and here it is that you are to be in so perfect a manner united to him as to abide in him and live by him. If you have any love for yourselves and for your own souls, you must gladly go to this banquet, in which you will find all your good, and all that can make you truly happy both here and hereafter.

Consider 3rdly, that in staying away from Christ in the blessed sacrament, we do not only neglect his invitation and slight his love, but also break through his ordinance and violate his commandment. The very institution of these heavenly mysteries to be the support of our spiritual life for the time of our mortality, implies a commandment for us to approach to them, and to make use of them. We should be guilty of self-murder if we suffered the body to perish, by refusing to take that food which God has appointed for its sustenance, and are we not equally guilty of murdering our souls if we suffer them to starve for want of the food and sustenance which our Lord has allotted them in this life-giving banquet? Truth itself assures us, St. John vi. 54, that without this heavenly food ‘we have no life in us;’ as then we are most strictly bound to maintain the life of our souls, we are most strictly bound to use this food of life; and it is no less certain death to stay away from this blessed sacrament, than it is to come to it unworthily.

Conclude, my soul, to correspond henceforward with the loving invitation of thy dear Redeemer, by a frequent and worthy communion. Remember that the blessed sacrament is named our daily bread in that prayer which out: Lord himself has taught us. O! how happy should we be if we lived in such purity and holiness as to be worthy to be daily admitted, like the primitive Christians, to this bread of heaven! O let us do our best so to live, so to be have in every respect, that we may at least very often approach to this heavenly table, and there feast ourselves with Jesus Christ!

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