Corpus Christi is the feast of the presence of Jesus in the Eucharist. Today the Church remembers the institution of the Holy Eucharist. The Last Supper was one of the most intense moments in the life of Jesus where he invites us to friendship with his Father. There, in the Upper Room, with each of his gestures, Jesus opens his heart to lead us to true friendship with God. Being friends of God transforms how we are friends with those around us. Being friends of God, like Jesus, we can wash everyone’s feet, sit at the table of those who could betray us, and offer our love to those who do not understand us or even accept our friendship.
How do we become friends with God? It sounds unimaginable; however, Holy Scripture again and again presents our relationship with God in terms of friendship. In the book of Genesis we read the story of Abraham who became “the friend” of God. Also, in the book of Exodus we are left with no doubt when we read: “The Lord spoke with Moses face to face, as he speaks with a friend.” (Exodus 33:11) Another example is in the book of the Song of Songs, which poetically captures the relationship between God and the soul that seeks him. God calls the latter “my friend.” (Song of Songs 1:15) The Book of Wisdom, too, points out that God “communicates himself to the holy souls of each generation and makes them his friends.” (Wisdom 7:27) It is important to note that in all cases the initiative comes from God himself. What a gift it is for us to have the possibility to speak face to face with our Creator!
This manifestation of the friendship that God offers us, the communication of this novelty, has continued to grow throughout the history of salvation. Everything he has told us in the Old Testament is definitely illuminated with the life of the Son of God on earth: “God loves us not only as creatures, but also as children to whom, in Christ, he offers true friendship.”1 Therefore, Jesus with his Body and with his Blood wants to love in us. He tells us everything he knows about the Father in order to continue to draw us into his friendship. True friends live in communion: they share, they talk. As Saint John Paul II tells us:
Christianity must be distinguished in our time, above all, by the ‘art of prayer.’ How can we not feel a renewed need to spend long periods of time in spiritual conversation, in silent adoration, in an attitude of love, before Christ present in the Blessed Sacrament? How many times, my dear brothers and sisters, have I had this experience and in it I have found strength, comfort and support! 2
God calls us to be in his presence. For me it is Jesus who calls me first. He never stops calling me and chasing me. The most important thing is to be silent to allow the Word of God to become flesh in us and for us to enter into the Scriptures, in such a way, that God is speaking directly to us. Do we make time for God? Do we allow him to embrace us in an intimate way, as friends embrace each other? Are we struggling to keep our attention on our Father who wants to speak to us? Do we value the Eucharist? Do we frequently approach the Lord present in the Tabernacle? Do we thank our Heavenly Father for the Body and Blood of Christ?
In this friendship, madness of love, do we feel the IMPULSE to open ourselves unconditionally to all the people around us?
Today, on the Feast of Corpus Christi, let’s ask Our Lord to help us become his friends through the art of prayer!
1 F. Ocáriz, Pastoral Letter, November 1,2019, #2.
2 St. John Paaul II, Litt. Enc. Ecclesia de Eucharistia, April 17, 2003, #25.
Paula Gomez Victorica was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina. She was a contemplative nun of the Order of Saint Benedict for 20 years. Since 2001, she has lived in Natick, Massachusetts.
Paula is a Certified Spiritual Director. She currently teaches Biblical Spirituality online at Boston College. She is also a Eucharistic Minister and collaborates in the pastoral and enrichment commissions of some the Metrowest parishes.