We are going through a most unusual time, in many areas, but especially in the way we celebrate the Eucharist. For our health and safety, the obligation to attend Mass is suspended through September 6, (meaning the obligation begins again on the following Sunday, September 13). Many of us are participating in the mass virtually, watching on our TV or computer, or even phone. Many are unable to receive communion sacramentally, and so make a spiritual communion. For those able to gather, we sit at some distance from one another; we can’t shake hands or hug our friends, or even linger in the gathering space to catch up on each other’s lives.
During these days, we stand 6 feet apart; we wear masks when in public. These practices are irritating, no doubt, but we do them out of love and charity, recognizing that the very breath we breathe is shared, that our behavior effects one another, that we are bound together as a human family, and yes, that we are the body of Christ.
Today we celebrate the solemnity of the Body and Blood of Christ. Even in this situation, we profess our faith in the presence of Christ in the Eucharist. Perhaps we even long more for the opportunity to gather and receive communion! Absence does make the heart grow fonder. We are grateful for the gift that nourishes our journey of faith and discipleship. And we are grateful to be members of the Body of Christ, striving to live in love as He did.