After we kneel earlier than the Eucharist, we uncover true liberation theology
In most places, the Corpus Christi festival, or as it is called in the Novus Ordo the celebration of the Most Holy Body and the Blood of Christ, is from its actual date, Thursday after the Holy Trinity Sunday, to an "outside celebration" the following Sunday. On the real festival day, Thursday, we were two months away from our celebration of the establishment of the Eucharist on Maundy Thursday. The broadcast of this festival on a Sunday is nowhere near as shocking as the broadcast of Ascension Day on Thursday or Epiphany, which falls twelve days after Christmas, regardless of the day of the week.
While this great festival continued to have its roots in 12th-century Belgium, a great Eucharistic miracle occurred in Italy in 1263, which spurred its formal institution. A priest who had doubts about the Eucharist made a pilgrimage to Rome. While he was in Bolsena, north of Rome, the host was bleeding on the linen corporal. Pope Urban IV, who had once been an archdeacon in Liège, Belgium, was in nearby Orvieto. He wanted to see the bloody corporal from the mess and there was a big procession. In 1264, Urban ordered the celebration of the Body of Christ by the Universal Church. The angel doctor St. Thomas Aquinas (died 1274) composed the mass and the office of the festival.
You are familiar with the collection for today's Mass who took part in the Blessing of the Blessed Sacrament. It was included in the Missale Romanum in 1570 and has remained unchanged. Not even Novus Ordo's scissors-minded editors dared to change this:
Iugiter, an adverb, comes from iugum, "a yoke or collar for horses", "beams, crossbars or rails that are attached to vertical poles or posts in the horizontal direction, a crossbar". Iugiter means "continuously" as if a moment in time were stretched together with the next and the next and so on.
O God, who left us the monument of your passion under a miraculous sacrament, grant us, we beg to worship the sacred secrets of your body and blood in such a way that we constantly feel the fruit of your salvation in us.
Oh God, who has left us a monument to your passion in this wonderful sacrament, give us, we pray to worship the sacred secrets of your body and blood so that we can always experience the fruits of your salvation within us.
In the 1980s we seminarians were informed with a ridiculous mockery that "Jesus said: take and eat, not sit and look!" Somehow, "looking" was against "receiving", "doing". The same mistake is at the root of false statements about "active participation": if people don't sing or wear things all the time, they are "passive".
After the Second Vatican Council, many liturgists (all but a few?) Claimed that Eucharistic devotions are more harmful than helpful because modern man has grown up. We can no longer crawl before God. We will not frolic in archaic triumphal moves or kneel like a king. We are urban adults, not childish farmers under a feudal master. We stand and take instead of kneeling and receiving.
How these lies damaged our Catholic identity! Some details of society have changed, like moving sandbars, but people have not changed. God remains transcendent and our nature does not change. We poor, fallen people will always need concrete things through which we can perceive invisible realities. This is how we are made.
The bad old days of post-conciliatory disparagement of healthy devotional practices may continue, but the aging hippie priests and liberal liturgists have lost most of their soil to the Eucharist thanks to the ticking clock and the genuine Catholic, sensible love that people have for Jesus. The longing that so many have expressed and the frustration of so many priests during this ban underline this love. The customs of Corpus Christi processions, 40-hour prayer and Eucharistic adoration returned to force before the ban. People wanted and needed these devotions. Maybe because of this pandemic and the social distance from our churches, they want them even more and appreciate them more than ever. These devotions help us to be better Catholic Christians through contact with Christ and through public testimony of our faith. The "fasting" from contact with the Eucharist, the confession and other prayer in the Church could lead to a reassessment on the part of many. We need to bring back Holy Mass, but also our traditional devotions when our churches open up more fully. This is a time to rethink who we are and what we have lost and how we can regain lost soil in a "better normal".
Let us examine collecting using a single word: iugiter. The Iugum (where Iugiter came from) was a symbol of defeat and slavery. victorious Roman generals forced the vanquished to pass through spears under a yoke (sub iugum, "subjugated"). Prisoners were later bound together and presented in the returning general's triumphal procession. In worldly terms, crosses and yokes are instruments of bitter humiliation.
Jesus, on the other hand, says that his yoke is "sweet" and "light".
Christ invites us to learn his ways through the image of his yoke on our shoulders (Matthew 11: 29-30). True freedom lies in submission to Him. His yokes are cute yokes. He does not defeat us when he offers us his yoke. He frees us. He conquered death in us to awaken us through his yoke. When we honor the Blessed Sacrament, we proclaim with the triumphant victor Christ: “O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting? "(cf. 1 Cor 15: 54b – 57).
In his inaugural sermon for his pontificate in 1978, Pope John Paul II proclaimed:
Brothers and sisters, don't be afraid to welcome Christ and take His power. Help the Pope and all who want to serve Christ and serve with the power of Christ, the human person and all mankind. Dont be afraid. Open the doors for Christ wide. The borders of states, economic and political systems, the wide fields of culture, civilization and development open up to its rescue workers. Dont be afraid. Christ knows what is in man. He alone knows.
In his inaugural sermon for his pontificate in 2005, Pope Benedict XVI called Out:
If we let Christ fully enter our lives, if we open ourselves fully to him, aren't we afraid that He could take something away from us? Aren't we afraid to give up something important, unique, something that makes life so beautiful? Don't we risk being weakened and deprived of our freedom? And again (Pope John Paul) said: No! If we let Christ into our lives, we lose nothing, nothing, absolutely nothing of what makes life free, beautiful, and great. No! It is only in this friendship that the doors of life are opened wide. It is only in this friendship that the great potential of human existence is really revealed. Only in this friendship can we experience beauty and liberation. And so today I say to you, dear young people, with great strength and conviction based on a long personal life experience: Do not be afraid of Christ! He takes nothing away and gives you everything. If we indulge in it, we get a hundredfold consideration. Yes, open, open the doors to Christ wide – and you will find real life. Amen.
How can the submission of an image of God to the God, after whose image it is made, be a diminution of the image? On the other hand! Submission to Christ, to those who have come to reveal ourselves more fully, is liberation. This is authentic liberation theology. This is the stuff of radical social upheavals and revolutions, the stuff to set souls on fire and pillage their locked hearts.
Proponents of true theology of liberation bring the Eucharist Christ the Liberator to the public place. We march in his honor before the eyes of the beholder, profess his gift of redemption and kneel before him.
We cannot keep this promise of our future happiness in heaven, the body and the precious blood of Christ enough.
I affirm my submission to Christ, Victor to death, hell and my sins. I'm happy to kneel in front of him. Let us all seek the Eucharist Lord, Jesus, our God and King, in churches and processions on the streets and finally kneel freely before our great liberator.
(Image: Mazur / catholicnews.org.uk)