A reflection for the feast of Corpus Christi

By Sister Regina Bechtle


Leader: As people formed by the Eucharist, we seek to live in grateful thanksgiving. 

            All: May Charity take flesh in us; may Christ make us bread for others.

Leader: As people fed by the Eucharist, we are challenged to share our bread with those who hunger.

            All: May Charity take flesh in us; may Christ make us bread for others.

Leader: As people whom Jesus welcomes around his table, we are impelled to make room for all: for those who live on the margins, those who feel excluded, those who through shame conceal their necessities.

            All: May Charity take flesh in us; may Christ make us bread for others.


For St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, the Eucharist was central to her conversion and spiritual growth. The holy Sacrament embodied the enduring presence of the God whom she loved so passionately. The Eucharist called her to live in constant gratitude and total self-giving. 

It was the center, the meeting place, to which she returned and from which she drew strength to be a loving presence to others, day after day. She wrote that the Eucharist was her “Wealth in Poverty, and joy in deepest afflictions.” (Seton Collected WritingsII:489)

Daily Communion was not the custom of the Catholic Church in the early days of the Sisters of Charity of St. Joseph’s, the religious community that Mother Seton founded in Emmitsburg in 1809. But she and the Sisters understood that their lives – like the actions of the Eucharistic ritual – were always about taking, blessing, breaking and sharing. Celebrating the sacrifice of love as they attended daily Mass taught them how to be companions in community. The Eucharist became a sign and foretaste of God’s household, where all were equal and welcome. The sacred meal sent them forth to be the Body of Christ to everyone they met.

If she walked among us today, St. Elizabeth Ann surely would want us to take and bless the bread of our lives, to break and share it gladly. She would encourage us to work untiringly so that all may feel welcome at the Eucharistic table where she was so at home. She would urge us to let our love be, in imitation of Jesus’ own, “inventive even to infinity,” (words of St. Vincent de Paul) as we, with others in our Church, seek to rethink and renew Eucharistic theology and practice. 

Mother Seton would want us to plumb the depths of this mystery and allow it to lead us to know new dimensions of Real Presence — presence to each other in our communities and families, presence to the poor of every type who require our assistance, and presence to the world that God created and loves so profoundly. She would want us to trust that we are indeed becoming the very Body of Christ which we receive. 


SHARE a sentence or phrase that spoke to you.

MUSIC: Listen to and pray with the verses to a Eucharistic song such as:

Bread for the World (Bernadette Farrell); Take and Eat (Michael Joncas); The Supper of the Lord (Laurence Rosania); A Place at the Table (Lori True); Eat This Bread (Taizé)

            All are available on YouTube.


Bountiful God, you nourish us with the Eucharist and with the daily bread of our lives. Like St. Elizabeth Ann, may we meet our grace in the gift and challenge which is the Eucharist. 

May all the people and creatures of Earth have the nourishment they need to sustain their lives. Help us to solve the problems of food distribution, access to clean water, drought, expanding deserts, malnutrition, famine and disease. May all share in your banquet; may none be in want. We ask this through Jesus Christ, the Bread of Life.   Amen.