Perhaps the most profound statement Jesus makes as he prepares to empty himself alluding to Exodus 24: 4-8, “Then he took the blood and sprinkled it on the people saying, This is the blood of the covenant which the Lord has made with you in accordance with all these words of his.” Moses proclaims a sacrifice according to the Lord’s words which ratifies the covenant of God with men.
Today, we share all that a blood sacrifice really means when Jesus becomes the sacrificial lamb which is our salvation on Calvary. It is not a symbol that fits the Paschal Mystery, it is the very essence of God giving himself that we may live forever with him and therefore will share the fruit of the vine which he will drink it new in the kingdom of God. (see Mk. 14: 22-26)
The Apostles shared this precious fruit and we are privileged to share it daily when our attendance at Holy Mass allows us to drink this same blood. There is the teaching that when Jesus proclaimed “This is my Body and similarly This is my Blood he actually is giving himself on the Cross at that moment; When the priest elevates the elements he also is at that moment Christ at Calvary. This is known as “the collapse of time”.
Since we are unable to share the cup, because of Covid-19, be assured that when we partake of the bread alone we are still receiving the Body and Blood of Christ at the same time.
Therefore, the Eucharist at Mass is not a leftover element (although communion for the shut-ins is) the instant the words of consecration are expounded we are in the presence of the crucifixion at Calvary and are sharing in the very action of the Christ giving himself up for each one of us.
This is Roman Catholics who are momentarily sharing the real Body and Blood during the consecration. Since non-catholics do not share the theology of the Eucharist they may not share in this rite. Similarly, since Catholics believe in the real presence they may not receive or take part in any communion rite that is not Catholic. Their’s is a symbol but not real presence.
Our celebration of Corpus Christi is perhaps the most glorious Solemnity since it covers every Mass at any Liturgical gathering. Without this Presence and the sequence of the Paschal Mystery we have nothing. With the Collapse of Time during the Consecration we share in a moment that is missing with those who do not believe in the real presence of Christ.
Ralph B. Hathaway, Corpus Christi 2021