Mk 14:12-26 Corpus Christi
While they were eating, he took bread, said the blessing, broke it, gave it to them, and said, “Take it; this is my body.” Then he took a cup, gave thanks, and gave it to them, and they all drank from it. He said to them, “This is my blood of the covenant, which will be shed for many…” Then, after singing a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives.
There is an old Chinese saying about faith and feelings. Fact, Faith, and Feelings are three men walking on a wall. Fact goes first, Faith second, and Feeling third. As long as Faith keeps his eyes focused on Fact, all three stay on the wall and make progress. But as soon as Faith takes his eyes off Fact and turns around to see how Feeling is doing, Faith falls off the wall, and Feeling follows, while Fact walks on. The point of this little saying is obvious: the object of our faith is not feeling but fact, not subjective experience but objective truth. (Peter Kreeft, Jesus Shock, pg. 126-127)
When faith is rooted in facts, it’s much easier to stay on track.
It’s much easier for a twelve-year-old to keep her promise of purity than it is for a seventeen-year-old who is dating. The reason is obvious: the child's faith, feelings and the facts are one. They speak loud and clear! What will keep a seventeen year old from breaking their promise will not be their feelings but their faith in God and his Word made known to them. It is admirable that a child consecrates their purity to the Blessed Virgin Mary before their teenage years, but it is essential that they repeat it every single year after that. Only in this way will their feelings be guided by faith which is rooted in facts.
Faith is my response to God's facts (or the facts of God). If my faith depended on my feelings, then my faith would come and go as quickly as my feelings come and go.
I believe that Christ is truly present in the Eucharist. I believe He is objectively, physically and literally present in the Eucharist. I don’t believe it because I feel it or see it or sense it. I don’t even believe it because I completely understand it. I believe it because He said it, and that makes perfect sense to me even without the use of my senses.
Christ said to his Apostles, “Take it; this is my body.” No explanations. He did not tell his Apostles, “Take it and feel my presence.” Feelings are not a bad thing, but if they get in the way of the facts, then they are a bad thing. It’s that simple.
People often ask me what I feel as I am holding in my hands the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ. The answer I give them usually shocks them: If I don’t feel anything, then I feel terrible.
I don’t consider myself a very sentimental guy. But ever since my ordination, I have experienced a physical problem that happens to me while I celebrate Mass. It doesn’t always happen, but when it does, it always happens during the consecration of bread and wine; that is, at the moment I lift the Blessed Sacrament up for adoration. That’s when I feel like my heart is about to explode out of my chest. It doesn’t happen to me because I’m holy. It doesn’t happen to me because I’m special. It doesn’t happen to any of the priests I know. But it happens to me, and when it does, it doesn’t feel good at all. But regardless of how I feel, I will always, while celebrating the Mass, take my time with the holy words of consecration; take my time in raising the Lord for all to see, and lift as high as I can the Blessed Sacrament for all to adore.
This is regardless of how I feel because I know one thing: THIS IS MY LORD’S BODY AND BLOOD. Take it!
This “take it” means a lot more than just receiving. It means, “TAKE IT!” Get it?