Since I was born, I experienced the preparation of the feast day of Corpus Christi in my town: Villa de Mazo, in La Palma, Canary Islands.  One month before, if not the whole year through, we gather the materials, leaves, flowers, petals, etc., any material that can survive dry long. Children, youth, and adults of all ages as well meet together in a familiar place, for each village to work on the decoration: arches and carpets of flowers in the center of the town. It was the most awaited time of the year because we enjoyed ourselves together. We learned from the beginning of our childhood to live in communion and to be artists, nevertheless, to work as volunteers. People who are even not church goers, dedicate time to God. In each village, there is a designer, a leader, and others who put the best of themselves to have a beautiful final arch, where the Blessed Sacrament monstrance will ‘stop’, ‘rest’ on a small table in the shape of the arch, which is designed still with more refined materials and care. From there, the priest will bless the people. The flowers in the Church are very carefully arranged. Everything is a spectacle, declared as a national touristic interest feast, which until now is celebrated on Thursday, to allow the neighboring towns and the tourists to appreciate it for four days.

For us, CMT, the Church is our beloved, who is the Body: with Jesus the Head, and we the members of the Body; and in the Eucharist He will tell us: “I give you my Head under the appearance of bread and wine: I have my whole moral body united to the Head, and when I give you my Head, I give myself entirely to you, thus I confirm that I am the lover who searches for you and asks for your love” (M.R.  21, 5).

The Gospel of today gives us the key to complete the love for the Church, love of charity: “Give them some food yourselves” (Lk 9: 13). It is the concrete commandment of Jesus.  It is not a general love for the neighbors, but to give them food, do something for the hungry of today’s time… People are hungry, not only for food, but even for a healing smile, a simple greeting, a listening moment… Even sometimes, it seems to us that what they are saying has no sense, but they need to be expressed.  They need an understanding heart and mind to put ourselves in their shoes… that is why Corpus Christi -‘Body of Christ’- feast day is called fraternal love day, the charity day. Because indeed, without charity, our love for God is not true.

Love for God and love for others remain as the “law of grace” (M.R. 11, 2) for us. “My heart was made by the hand of God to love and to be loved, and to live only through love” (M.R. 22, 13). On this day, let us renew our great devotion to the Eucharist, “I am in the Sacrament as the head, and we two here are one and the same thing” (M.R. 4, 23), that has to be put into practice through the many ways to ‘give food to the others’.

Our Lady of Virtues Community,

Pangantucan, Bukidnon