As I was thinking about Corpus Christi Sunday and the reading where Jesus clearly states to eat His flesh and drink His blood, the image of the Good Shepherd and his sheepfold in our Atrium came to mind. At one point in the Good Shepherd presentation, all of the sheep turn to the Good Shepherd in the middle of the round table. It struck me as a beautiful representation of a monstrance. Christ is at the center, and the rays of His grace and love reach out and invite all of His sheep. The sheep are then filled with His grace and go out to do His will.
In the Atrium, the Good Shepherd presentation is continued and expanded with the Eucharistic Presence of the Good Shepherd. In that presentation, another sheepfold – the church- is set next to the original. The Good Shepherd is placed on an altar and the sheep come to His table to be fed. We are fed. Even if Christ hasn’t entered into our bodies in the form of bread and wine in quite some time, we are fed. He will not leave us orphans no matter what pandemic shuts down our churches or makes us wary of going for the sake of our families’ health and that of others. Just remember what Fr. Alejandro said during his last Mass at St. Luke at the beginning of the month. Precautions for our bodies are fine, but we should be even more careful with our souls.
The Eucharist is tremendously hard to explain. As parents, we have to remember that young kids are accepting of the truths spoken to them, unlike us adults. That said, we don’t have to be scared that they’ll reject the teaching when we tell them that Christ told us to consume Him in the form of bread and wine that inexplicably becomes His Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity. It’s not a symbol and it was never meant to be.
This particular Gospel passage seems to be the one most often pointed to by Catholics for justifying our belief in the Eucharist. On EWTN one day, I heard a beautiful commentary explaining that Jesus didn’t try to re-explain what He meant when He started losing followers. Unlike instances of misunderstandings among his disciples, He just reiterated what He had said, even using the word for “eat” that is more closely translated to “chew” or “gnaw.” But, this passage is not the justification for our faith in the True Presence. Stay with me here. If the Bible is the History of Salvation; and if Jesus is the Salvation of the World; and if He is the Eucharist, then isn’t the entire Bible also the History of the Eucharist? If you look around the presentations in the Atrium, you will see the beautiful, unmistakable, “golden thread” as Sofia Cavalletti called it, that runs through every single Bible verse represented and points toward the True Presence.
Perhaps, then, as parents, we should give ourselves a break in trying to explain the Eucharist in a day or a week, or even in a year. It is everything, afterall, and it takes awhile to give everything to our children. Still, we should make it a part of our everyday in our domestic churches. Enjoy the links below!
Corpus Christi Activities, Coloring Sheets, and Resources for Kids and Families
Here are just a handful of my favorites for this week. There are just so many resources out there, it’s hard to choose.
Watch our YouTube playlist, including an old clip of the Corpus Christi procession from San Fernando Cathedral here in San Antonio, with one of our die-hard moms carting around three kids for the event.
Download our Monstrance coloring sheet for you or your kids or both. You can try just about a million coloring sheets at 4CatholicEducators.com. Next, head over to CatholicIcing. My absolute favorite is her True Presence zigzag fold craft.
You can also do one of her Monstrance crafts, or ours in the pictures. (Yes, that’s just a coffee filter. You could also do a smaller one with a cupcake wrapper!)