Precious Body Precious Blood/Here in bread and wine/Here the Lord prepares the gift divine/Bread of love is broken now/Cup of life is poured/Come share the supper of the Lord.
Having visited the Philippines multiple times in the last decade, I thought I was ready for a year as a Pilillian. Unfortunately in many cases I have learned I’m not prepared, after all.
In this first week of Easter with the holiness of the previous week still fresh in my heart and mind, it really hit me hard that it’s been almost nine months since I’ve received the Precious Blood of Christ. The images I saw during the Triduum showed a bloody suffering Christ. Blood flowed freely from his head to his feet. Blood poured for my salvation: Love clearly seen.
“When supper was ended he took the cup. He gave you thanks and praise. Gave the cup to his disciples and said take this and drink. Drink it all of you for the forgiveness of sins.” Matthew 26: 27-29
St. Mary Magdalene Parish is the only Catholic parish in town. There are four masses on the weekends serving approximately eight thousand people. Could it be for financial reasons that the priest is the only one who receives the Precious Blood? SMMP isn’t the only church to do this.
I know it shouldn’t matter because Jesus is fully present under either one of the species. But I’m feeling deprived. A phrase comes to mind: “Seven days of no prayer makes one weak.” What does nine months of not receiving the Precious Blood make me?
Supper: one eats and drinks. Jesus said, “I thirst.” Cup of life is poured; this year there’s no literal “sharing in the cup of salvation” for me.
There have been blessings as well as challenges this year. I am strengthened to face the challenges each time I attend Mass. Half a world away Catholic being universal rings loud and clear. At SMMP the sameness especially during the English Mass, with St. Francis Xavier is a comfort. Even though our celebrations are thirteen hours ahead, the Sacrifice is the same.
So not receiving the Precious Blood is a “minor” difference. When we say that Jesus’ Precious Blood brings reconciliation, I pray, God give me the grace to unite this yearning with the suffering: children who hadn’t attended school, children who aren’t eating nutritious meals, children who are being raised by grandparents, children whose basic necessities of life aren’t met. Help me to reach out to others to make your Son’s love manifest in this holy season of Easter. Amen.