Christ’s love is our Life

In 1513, a known Spanish conquistador, Ponce De Leon, headed to an island of pristine beaches and beautiful plants, which he later named Florida, which means place of flowers. Aside from searching for treasures, Ponce De Leon had also heard of a mythical fountain of youth, a legendary, magical spring whose water was believed to make people young and energetic again. He explored many areas but never found them. Instead, he was killed by a group of Indian tribes who ambushed his group. Ponce de Leon was hit by an arrow and died.

In 1520, one of the emperors of the Ming Dynasty, the longest ruling dynasty in China for 276 years, tried various medicines to avert aging so that he would remain powerful. They believed that there was an elixir of immortality named mercury that could give him long life and strength. So, he commanded his doctors to provide him with a daily mercury injection. However, at the age of 50, the emperor died of poisoning.

At the advent of the 20th century, we saw several scientific breakthroughs. Research to avert aging and death was extensively discussed and studied. But it has still never been realized. This shows that our human efforts alone cannot reach their full potential and always fall short.  If we depend solely on human power and become enslaved by temporal inclinations for power and materialism, we will fail to realize our quest for happiness.

For us believers, we know the truth that only Christ is the only source of everlasting life and immortality. By partaking in the body and blood of Christ, who is available to us in the celebration of the Holy Eucharist, our body and soul is nourished by bread that satisfies our hunger for love, fulfillment, and happiness. We are also reminded that living the Gospel daily strengthens and restores us to grace.

I had an opportunity to work in a hospice facility and witnessed how Christ transformed patients’ lives amid their suffering. It allowed me to reflect on what’s essential in life. One day, a patient told me that when you are in his bed, it no longer matters what diploma you have on the wall, your authority in the organization, or the money you are making. What is important is your relationship with the people around you and with Christ the Lord. In a hospice, patients usually do not expect a cure or to live longer. However, even though they do not experience a physical cure, they do experience healing. With their faith in Christ, they find peace in their sufferings.  Something extraordinary happens when the anxiety and pain of illness and death do not shatter their confidence and peace.

The spirit of great hope and love nourishes those who receive Christ. Our lives are transformed in a way no one can ruin, even amid adversities and challenges. Great hope, faith, love, wisdom, and extraordinary strength are the fruits of the nourishment given by Christ that we already enjoy even while on earth.

Life and love are the essence of our celebration of the Solemnity of Corpus Christi.

 

Fr. Dennis