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Corpus Christi

The Eucharist is central to our faith. St Pius X (1903-1914) encouraged frequent communion and its reception by young children. Before this many people only went to communion once a year, although the official church never seems to have advocated this. It is wonderful that the Eucharist can be received on a daily basis but there is a danger that it can become routine and taken for granted. The late bishop of Galway, Martin Drennan, emphasised the fact that it is a gift, freely given by God. It is the fruit of the sacrifice Christ made on Calvary, which replaced all the blood offerings of the past. Today’s readings connect the sacrifice made by Moses, when he read the Covenant, and the institution of the Eucharist at the Last Supper as the everlasting Covenant.

There is a spiritual hunger within us all, which we can be tempted to try to satisfy with material things, which - however good - are ephemeral. Paradoxically, it is Jesus giving up his life that gives us life. When we receive the Eucharist it is a very personal encounter for each individual with Christ. However, communion with him is also a community event, which we celebrate as the mystical Body of Christ. As such we must take the love he gives us to a world that so badly needs it.