We now find ourselves caught in the middle of our memory of Easter and of our anticipation of our Parish Fiesta, the Solemnity of the Body and Blood of Christ. It seems natural to let the message of Easter flow into our celebration of Corpus Christi especially because our festivities are centered on “The Eucharist: Source and Fountain and Life.” This theme brings together life and the Eucharist into a singular point of reflection that reveals a beautiful and purposeful design behind the continuum of the Church’s liturgical celebrations. As we seek to draw inspiration and encouragement from the melded meanings of the celebrations of Easter and Corpus Christi, allow me to share with you the song “We Will Rise” which plainly, yet beautifully, sings of the intimate oneness of our lives and the Eucharist.
We Will Rise
Music and lyrics by Noel Miranda
Additional lyrics by Bok Arandia
From Bukas Palad Music Ministry’s 25th Anniversary album-offering, Sing Forever
As we gather ‘round the table, at the banquet of our King,
we lay down upon Your altar all our hungers deep within.
Now we pray that in Your goodness, You may take all that we give.
Use our every strength or weakness so that all the world may live.
When we eat this bread and in You believe,
we become Whom we receive.
And from death and strife, we will rise!
Be the food for all our hungers. Fill us now with love and grace,
as we strive to be Your presence that Your life we may embrace.
To be bread and wine for others, to reflect Your life and worth:
Make us all Your sons and daughters, one in faith in You, O Lord. (ref)
We will rise!
Not death, not life, none on earth or above
will ever separate us from Your love!
May we taste and see Your goodness in the breaking of the bread:
Pledge of future hope and glory, of our rising from the dead. (ref)
“When we eat this bread”
In the Eucharist, Christ offers His body as the bread for our souls, as the food for our deepest hungers. To partake of the bread is to accept Christ’s invitation to live in and through us.
“And in You believe”
The Eucharist is not merely an outwardly sign of receiving Christ. It is an expression of faith. It is an expression of our belief that the bread we eat is truly Christ’s body, and the wine we drink is His blood. It is for this reason that we revere consecrated bread and wine as Christ’s living presence. In communion, it not bread nor wine that we receive. It is Christ himself.
“We become whom we receive”
We frequently say, “You are what you eat.” Indeed, the more we receive Christ, the more we become Christ. For this is the desire of our Lord: that we make Him present to the world by becoming His very presence to the world. By receiving Jesus, we allow Him to inspire the whole of our lives. By becoming Jesus, we allow Him to become the source, meaning, and purpose of our lives.
“And from death and strife, we will rise!”
Jesus desires that we share His glory. He constantly invites us to seek eternity with Him. In the midst of the troubles of this world, in spite of our human frailties, God calls us to live a life of glory. While death and strife burden our souls weary, we remember Christ’s Easter victory. And as we celebrate Corpus Christi, let us bring to mind how we receive Jesus, his real body and blood, into our beings. For this is the essence of holy communion: that we and Jesus be intimately, genuinely, and eternally united. We are so loved by our God that He has found no better way to be with us than to be in us. From our suffering and pain, from troubles and trials, with Jesus, we can and will rise.
Because of our human frailties and limitations, we suffer. Yet Christ revealed that there is glory in His suffering. By our participation in the Holy Eucharist, our lives and Christ’s find communion and His suffering becomes ours, our suffering becomes His. By this communion, our own sufferings, too, may find glory with Christ. Indeed, We Will Rise proclaims this beautiful invitation from our Lord to be united with Him. Let this song be our prayer. As St. Augustine of Hippo said, he who sings well prays twice. May this hymn lead us closer to the reality of Christ’s presence in the Eucharist.
- Kiboy Tabada