Corpus Christi - Year A - 18th June 2017
Corpus Christi - Domine non sum dignus – Lord, I am not worthy......
I remember receiving communion in boyhood days approaching the altar while repeating, ‘Lord, I am not worthy that you should enter under my roof, but only say the word and my soul shall be healed’. I then knelt down at the altar rails, tucked my hands under the white starched altar cloth and waited in silence to receive and welcome Jesus in reverential awe.
A New Translation
For years we have been saying the formula in English, ‘Lord, I am not worthy to receive you, but only say the word and I shall be healed.’ We have once more returned to the original version, speaking of myself as a soul providing a house for Jesus.
Jesus never comes alone – it is the full Body of Christ – Jesus and his sisters and brothers
In recent times I realize that Jesus does not come alone. He brings with him all his brothers and sisters known to me now, and known to me in the past. They make up the Body of Christ. I have to accept all of them – even those with whom I am not at peace in my heart – that is true communion. Perhaps, that’s what receiving the Body of Christ means. Perhaps he can cover them with his cloak and shield them from me while they gain a furtive entry to my heart! It is as if Jesus allows them to gate-crash my party. With his new guests He will teach me the modern meaning of accommodation – adapting myself to accepting, and welcoming the other.
Leaving your Gift at the altar
Today, on this Feast of Corpus Christi, The Feast of the Body of Christ, we remember that Christ’s body is made up of all God’s people and we recall the words: “If you are leaving your gift at the altar, and there remember, that your sister or brother has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar. First go, and be reconciled with your sister or brother; then come and offer your gift.” (Matthew 5:23-24)
Love bade me welcome...yet my soul drew back.....
You must sit down, says Love, and taste my meat
So, I did sit and eat.
George Herbert, Anglican priest and Metaphysical poet of the 17th century. (This is a beautiful meditative poem for the feast: Simply look up Love by George Herbert)