Julie Storr shares a reflection on the Collect for the Mass for the Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ.
This week we Lectio the Liturgy with the Collect for the Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ.
The Collect this week is also used in the prayers of Benediction, which is a time when the Eucharist is exposed and the faithful are welcome to come to worship and pray with Jesus.
Many of the Collects are addressed to God as Father, this prayer is addressed to Jesus.
O God, who in this wonderful Sacrament have left us a memorial of your Passion, grant us, we pray, so to revere the sacred mysteries of your Body and Blood that we may always experience in ourselves the fruits of your redemption. Who live and reign with God the Father in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God, for ever and ever.
In today’s prayer, we ask God to grant. When we ask God to grant something, we not only give Him permission to do what we ask, we comply with how He does it. That’s why, when the prayer includes the verb grant I tend to pay attention to what I’m asking for. Today’s petition asks that we may always experience in ourselves the fruits of His redemption.
When it comes to matters of faith, redemption is one of my favorite words. Redemption: a buying back. We were bought with a price, and that price was the Body and the Blood of Jesus.
The fruit of Jesus’ redemption is my salvation. My sins are forgiven, my wounds are healed, and I have the promise of eternal life. To experience this in my life means that know what I have been given and I strive to live like it. It means to choose to live in imitation of Christ.
To experience this fruit in myself must also include what is given to me to give to others. For Moses that meant his yes to God led the Israelites out of slavery. For Mary it meant that God would be bringing the Redeemer into the world through her.
What was true for Moses and for Mary is also true for you and me: Our focus must be on the One who paid the price for our redemption. Our prayer tells us the same, that to experience in ourselves this fruit, we are to revere, or honor, the Body and Blood of our Lord.
One way to honor someone is to accept their gift. If someone desires to give you a gift, to reject the gift is, in a sense, rejecting that person. Our gift is present in this Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist. It is a memorial that God chose to leave, or that He left, to remind us of the Passion of His Son. As I thought about what and Who is present in this gift of the Body and Blood of Christ, I wondered if when we receive Holy Communion, do we truly receive the Gift that God offers? Also, if everyone understood the embodiment of the Holy Eucharist, would our churches be overflowing?
Living in the fruits of His redemption is a life of joy. Not that it will be easy—there will be trials—but our Redeemer, who paid dearly for each one of us, isn’t about to fail us now. Remember that each and every time we pray the Mass, Jesus is closer to us that we can imagine.
Copyright 2022 Julie Storr
Images: copyright 2019 Holy Cross Family Ministries, all rights reserved.
About the Author
Julie Storr is a convert who is in awe of the depth of the relationship with God that can be found in the Catholic Church. She is a Benedictine Oblate of Conception Abbey. Julie and her husband live in Pocahontas, Iowa. They have two grown sons and are excited to be expecting a daughter-in-law this summer. Visit her website at LectioTheLiturgy.com.