In our generation, the weekend trip to the mall is almost always a must. Even if we don’t plan to shop or buy anything, we like to go there in order to unwind, or to re-charge from the hectic week gone past. We like the way the sights in the various shops entice our eyes to buy or to get the items shown. We like the way they invite us with taglines like “we’ve got it all for you”. We think the stuff they sell give us joy and happiness. However, when we go back to our homes, we are again faced with the reality that the world’s meaning of joy and happiness is temporal and fleeting.
The celebrant in this week’s Sunday Mass said that, “this generation is a TGIF generation”. Not the “Thank God it’s Friday” thing, but the “Twitter, Google, Instagram, and the Facebook” of cyberspace. Indeed! Check around your friends and you’d notice that almost everyone has his or her own account in the virtual world. Walk around and chances are you’d see people engaging their time online, rather than spend time connecting with family and close friends. I remember seeing a picture of a family seated in a dining table, while each of them were attending to their own gadgets. No one seemed to be talking to another in the family, as they all appeared to be so engrossed in reading or watching the screen on their accessories. What is happening here?
Also, it’s an observation that some have as many as a thousand friends in Facebook and yet we also ask, “Are these a thousand friends or so, real friends?” Except for a few real friends in there, are all the rest just as virtual as Facebook itself? How many of your Facebook “friends” are really friends whom you can count on to be there for you?
This Sunday we celebrated the Solemnity of the Body and Blood of Christ, or Corpus Christi. Unlike the material things that are in this world, or the virtual “TGIF”; our Lord Jesus Christ is real and present. Every time we attend Mass, we are witnesses to Jesus’ loving presence in the Holy Eucharist. Each time we ask Jesus to help us, He is there for us. Present in every Mass, present in every prayer, present in every moment of our lives. He is the silent listener to our conversations. Isn’t it amazing to see families spend time each Sunday to hear Mass? As Fr. Armand quoted John Updike who said, “All church services have this wonderful element: people with a lot of other things to do, get up on a Sunday morning, put on good clothes, and assemble out of nothing but faith — some vague yen for something larger. Simply as a human gathering, I find it moving, reassuring, and even inspiring. A church is a little like a novel in that both are saying there’s something very important about being human.”
As we reflect on the Body and Blood of Our Lord, let us remember that whenever we attend Mass, we proclaim His real presence in the Holy Eucharist. And lest we forget: In life, we can’t find meaning and fulfillment outside of Jesus.