This morning at my territorial parish, Bruder Klaus in Bern, the international community gathered to celebrate Corpus Christi. The Nuncio was invited to preside and preach at the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, readings were proclaimed in English and Polish, the Gospel in German, Prayers of the Faithful in German, Italian, Portuguese, Croatian and Polish. After a moment of adoration in the church, we processed through the neighborhood, singing the prescribed hymns as we went, and into the garden of the Nunciature, for another moment of adoration and the Eucharistic Blessing. After the Blessed Sacrament was reposed in the Chapel of the Nunciature, the parish offered soft drinks, water and for grown-ups even wine and folks could socialize as long as they wanted. It was indeed a family affair, in our little capital city of Switzerland, with a group of priests and deacons, religious and laity, embracing some pretty far flung corners of our big, wide world. I think every continent was represented and too many countries of origin to list in this blog.
Some of the children were provided with flower petals to strew before the Blessed Sacrament as we walked across the lawn to the Altar of Repose and afterward I noticed a number of ladies gathering petals from the altar steps to take home with them. It was all quite understated, not in the least bit pompous, but of a poetry and grace, accessible to young and old, which is our birthright, but which we encounter all too seldom these days.
Most folks simply enjoyed the moment, but others spoke to me of their hope that perhaps the tide had turned and we as Catholics could be simply who we are in the Lord Jesus in the midst of His Church.
That is my prayer too on this day. Corpus Christi is about the Mystery central to our faith. The Feast lends itself to a certain display. Even understated in Bern, however, it brings incomparable joy to Catholic hearts.
PROPERANTES ADVENTUM DIEI DEI