Sisters of St. Francis of the Holy Cross in Green Bay, WI
Reflection for June 2, 2024

Reflection for June 2, 2024

Embracing the gift of the Eucharist

 Corpus Christi    Sunday and National Eucharistic Congress  remind us of our Gospel call

by Sister Ann Rehrauer

On July 17-21, tens of thousands of American Catholics will converge on Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis for the 10th National Eucharistic Congress.  The Congress is one of the highlights of the three-year Eucharistic Revival planned by the American bishops.

Pilgrims will arrive from the north, south, east and west, gathering in a symbol of unity and praying for hope and healing.  The Congress provides times of prayer, song, Eucharistic adoration, opportunities for reconciliation, as well as “impact” and break-out sessions.  Each day will include celebrations of the Eucharist in a variety of different styles.

Among the hoped-for outcomes of the Congress is that participants will embrace their call as disciples and commit themselves to living out the Gospel, moving forward as missionary disciples.  Ultimately this will bring about a deeper appreciation, understanding, and Eucharistic revival in our parishes for our people.

Receiving and responding

On Sunday the Church celebrates the Solemnity of Corpus Christi – recognizing, celebrating, and experiencing the abiding presence of Christ in the sacrament of his Body and Blood.  While we receive the sacrament every time we gather for the Eucharist, Sunday is a special time to focus on the gift of Christ’s Body and Blood which we receive and the resulting commission to live the Gospel we profess.

The activities of the Congress mesh well with Sunday's feast – recognizing the  Eucharist as both sacrifice and sacrament – our offering of bread and wine and ourselves, joined with Christ’s offering to the Father, and the reception of the gift of Christ’s very self under symbols of consecrated bread and wine.    

We know the Eucharist is a means of reconciliation, an opportunity for prayer and worship of God, and an experience of transformation as we open ourselves more completely to the will of God – some of the same elements present in the Congress.

Living the mystery

While Sunday's feast highlights the gift we receive, it includes a remembrance of the covenant prefigured in the Hebrew Scriptures and later sealed in Christ’s blood, and the sacrifice and blood of a lamb fulfilled in the sacrifice of Christ, the Paschal Lamb, as well as our call to “offer a sacrifice of thanksgiving and fulfill our (baptismal) vows in the presence of all God’s people.”  As at every Eucharist, we are sent forth to live the mystery we celebrate.

While every Eucharist is a celebration of Christ’s Body and Blood, perhaps Sunday's feast will help us focus with a greater awareness and appreciation of the power of Christ’s sacrifice which we offer with him, the great gift of his abiding presence in the mystery of the Eucharist, and the commission we accept to live the full meaning of the Eucharist as sacrament of thanksgiving and reconciliation. 



05/31/2024 10:24 am

Thank you for connecting the National Eucharistic Congress, the Feast of Corpus Christi and our regular reception of the Body and Blood of Christ at the celebration of the Eucharist. What a privilege to receive the Body and Blood of Christ at each Mass!

Diann Wimmer
05/31/2024 10:58 am

Thank you, Ann, for the many "Eucharistic connections" you presented in your message. How wonderful to see this feast as Sacrifice, Banquet, Thanksgiving, Presence, Reconciliation and even activity gathering at the National Eucharistic Congress. Marvelous and helpful!

John Hansen
06/01/2024 4:07 pm

Thank you for sharing- many things I did not realize and wonderful reminder of the symbolisms I did.



David Daniels
06/02/2024 4:15 pm

Jesus gave, in two parts of one meal, the first Eucharist to His followers (including Judes, who Jesus identified as His traitor) and Peter (who Jesus identified as His denier under oath.) All fled the Cross except John the youngest. Jesus told them to "do this in memory of Me" Jesus clearly meant to include ALL, not only baptized, practicing Christians, with no serious unconfessed sins, and who have fasted from any food/meal prior to receiving the Eucharist. Jesus (GOD) LOVES ALL. The only gift greater than the Eucharist is Eternal Salvation with our God. I think Pope Francis said something very close to this?

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