Don’t forget the social aspect of the Eucharist

Published June 6, 2021, 12:12 AM

by Fr. Bel R. San Luis, SVD

Word Alive


Today we celebrate the feast of CORPUS CHRISTI, a Latin term which literally means the Body of Christ. The feast reminds us that

his Body and Blood are our spiritual food and drink. In the Last Supper, he instructed the disciples: “Do this in memory of me.” Jesus’ command has been followed in the celebration of the Eucharist throughout the whole Catholic world from the rising of the sun to it’s setting.

* * *

In the Philippines, apart from the regular Sunday Masses, the eucharistic celebration are held in so many occasions like Masses in malls, weddings and funerals, First Fridays, birthdays as if  religious events were not complete without a Mass. There are even politicians, who win in the election by vote-buying, and request for a special “thanksgiving” Mass! Despite, the lengthy lockdown resulting in the closure of churches, we have found ways and means to celebrate the Eucharist like live streaming or online Masses.

No doubt, the strong and persevering faith in the Holy Mass by Filipinos is highly appreciable and inspiring.

* * *

However, the downside of our Mass celebrations is that not a few think that we have made it as the end-all of our religious piety. We think that that’s the only obligation Catholics should do.

While the Eucharist is the center of our piety, we forget its social aspect.

To illustrate, there’s a wealthy lady who owns a lot of businesses. Religious statues and antique images adorn the walls so that that her mansion looks like a religious museum. The lady goes to Mass daily and receives Holy Communion. Her workers, however, cannot appreciate her piety because, with all her wealth, she doesn’t give the legal wage that’s due them. They grumble, saying: “Ang amo namin ay dasal ng dasal; masama naman ang asal” (Our manager is very prayerful but her practice is bad).

* * *

Why is it that some attend Mass and receive Holy Communion regularly, but do not change like that rich business woman? One reason is that personal conversion is not automatic.  The effect of the Eucharist is not achieved just  by doing the sacramental rite. The  sacrament  becomes effective only in so far as the recipient exerts effort  to respond and live up to the sacramental grace.

* * *

Another reason is that it’s easier to go to Mass and be inspired by the angelic singing of the choir than to love one’s enemy, a mother-in-law or people who are hard to get along with. As somebody said: “To live with saints above that’s the highest glory; but to live with the saints below, that is another story.”

* * *

At the end of the Mass after the final blessing, the priest celebrant says: “The Mass is ended. Go and serve the Lord and one another.”

It is an exhortation to go and live the Mass, that is, to become another Christ, and to be like Christ by loving our neighbor as ourselves.

* * *

The lighter side. Nice to see you’re attending Mass again,” said the priest, meeting a parishioner in the street. “Is it because of my sermons?”

“Not yours, Father…my wife’s!” he said.

* * *

A faithful Mass goer couple in their 60s are visited by an angel who grants them both a wish. “I want to travel around the world with my darling husband,” said the wife. Two tickets for a luxury cruise appear in her hand.

Husband says, “Sorry love, but my wish is to have a wife 30 years younger than me. So the angel waves her wand and the husband became 92!

* * *

My cellphone is so full of information on the corona virus; it doesn’t vibrate anymore, it only coughs!

* * *

Apeal. Let me thank those who responded to my appeal for the poor COVID patients. I can’t thank you enough. May I appeal further since my funds are not enough to buy expensive medicines. Any amount will be a blessing and save the patients’ lives.

* * *

The Lord said, “Whatever you did to the least of My brethren, you did it for Me” (Mt. 25,40). For inquiry, e-mail me at: [email protected].