June 7, 2015

Corpus Christi

June 7, 2015:  Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ (Corpus Christi)

See 15 links between this picture
and today's Bible readings and celebration?

Legend below

Listen

For the psalm

Pope Francis



Corpus Christi homily delivered Thursday


To Sarajevo youth:  Act with honesty and integrity, build bridges between people, and help to promote a culture of peace.  Don't flee, become self-absorbed, take refuge in alcohol, drugs, hatred, or violence, but let your faith flourish without fear, and sow seeds of a more just, fraternal, welcoming, and peaceful society.  If you're open to Christ, you'll overcome pessimism and become prophets and witnesses to hope.
To Sarajevo priests and religious:
Tireless spirit of service through sufferings, trials:  Though you've lived through trials, you endured, and worked hard to confront challenges.  Given the small minority of Catholics here, I can imagine how you could feel like Jesus’ disciples who caught no fish all night.  Abandon yourselves to trust in God to serve the Lord with joy, sowing hope.
Holiness begets holiness:  Be witnesses to fraternity and recall that if you want to help others become holy, don't neglect your own holiness. Be especially close to the poor and needy.  Meet people, even those who haven't heard of Christ, where they live.  Be ministers of hope, care for the sheep, and search for those who await the Good News but don't know where to find it.
Lay faithful and the Church’s mission:  Form Catholics in the faith; encourage lay faithful to be protagonists in our evangelizing mission.  Develop communities capable of courageous witness.
Empathize and help:  Live people's anguish and hope; work despite tensions, discord, suspicions, insecurities, and poverty.  Empathize; there's no greater witness than being close to people's needs.  Open your heart to all who ask for help, even those who need it but are ashamed to ask.
Humility vs self-absorbed elite:  Don't become a self-absorbed elite; your ministry should be one of joy, and its effectiveness the fruit of a humble life.
In difficulty or when you feel powerless, turn in childlike trust to Mary.  As a mother, she wants to transmit to us the secret of genuine faith; even a grain of it can move mountains.
Read
  • Ex 24:3-8  People to Moses:  "We'll do all the Lord has told us."  Moses wrote down the Lord's words, erected an altar, had young Israelites offer sacrifice as peace offerings, put half the blood in large bowls and splashed the rest on the altar, took the book of the covenant, and read it to the people, who answered, "All the Lord has said, we'll heed and do."  He sprinkled the blood on the people, saying, "This is the blood of the covenant the Lord has made with you in accordance with his word."
  • Ps 116:12-13, 15-18  How shall I make a return to the Lord for the good he's done for me?  "I will take the cup of salvation, and call on the name of the Lord."  Precious in God's eyes is the death of his faithful.  I am your servant; you loosed my bonds.  I'll offer you a sacrifice of thanksgiving and pay my vows to you....
  • Heb 9:11-15  When Christ came as high priesthe entered once for all into the sanctuary, not with goat or calf blood but with his own, thus obtaining redemption.  For if goat and bull blood and ash sprinkling can sanctify the defiledhow much more will Christ's blood cleanse us to worship God.  Christ is mediator of a new covenant:  since a death has taken place for deliverance from transgressions under the first, the called may receive the promised inheritance.
  • Sequence - Lauda Sion  ...The Bread of Angels is made pilgrims' food: let the Bread of children not be cast to dogs.  It was prefigured when Isaac was immolated, when the Paschal Lamb was sacrificed, when manna was given to our ancestors.  Good Shepherd, True Bread, Jesus, have mercy on us, feed us, protect us, and make us see good things in the land of the living.  You who know and can do all things, who feed us, make us your guests, co-heirs, and companions of the citizens of heaven.  (see Britt, The Hymns of the Breviary and MissalBenziger 1922, pp. 181-184)
  • Lk 14:12-16, 22-26  Disciples / Jesus:  "Where shall we prepare for you to eat the Passover?" / "Follow the man carrying a water jar who will meet you in the city.  The master of the house will show you a large upper room."  They went, found it just like that, and prepared the Passover.  While they were eating, he took bread, said the blessing, broke it, gave it to them, and said, "Take it; this is my body."  Then he took a cup, gave thanks, and gave it to them, and they drank from it.  He said, "This is my blood of the covenant, which will be shed for many.  I won't drink again the fruit of the vine till I drink it new in the kingdom of God."  Then they went out to the Mount of Olives.
Reflect
    • Creighton:  Corpus Christi processions give testimony to the centrality of the Eucharist in the Church and to our abundant joy as individuals and a faith community, showing both the gift of the Eucharist and being ourselves the Body of Christ.  Blood and covenant unite today's readings:  God invited the people into blood-sealed covenant relationship; God and Israel committed themselves to one another.  Jesus is depicted as high priest who offered himself to God, presenting his blood to him for the forgiveness of sins.  Jesus offered bread and wine as his body and blood, calling the wine “my blood of the covenant,”
    The Last Supper/ de Boulogne
    God invites us into a special relationship with him, a "new covenant."  Freed from what constrains us, especially sin, we're to bear witness to God’s love.  As the psalm suggests, we're to be a Eucharistic people in the presence of all.  Does my life reflect the joy of knowing and receiving the love Jesus poured out?  Do I appreciate that Holy Communion makes me part of a community that becomes the body of Christ we consume in the Eucharist? Do I bring this gift to others at home, work, and beyond?  Are we becoming a people who through our self-giving love bear witness to God?
    • One Bread One Body:  "Decide" to live the "mystery of faith" in the body and blood of Jesus and center your life on him.
    • Passionist:  I think of communion as a mystery; receiving it awakens in me my connection to God, Christ, and you, but the communion as broken....
    • DailyScripture.net:  When Jesus commands us to eat his flesh and drink his blood, he invites us to take his life into the center of our being.  Each Eucharist is a remembrance of Jesus' death, resurrection, and promise to return, anticipating the heavenly wedding feast of the Lamb and his Bride.  Jesus tied the last supper with his death and the coming of the Kingdom.  Jesus transformed the "old covenant" passover into the "new covenant" meal:  in the old covenant, bread and wine were offered in a thanksgiving sacrifice to acknowledge God as giver and sustainer of life.  The bread and wine offering of priest and king Melchizedek prefigured high priest and king Jesus' offering.  The manna in the wilderness recalled that we live not by bread alone but by the Word of God.  The Passover bread and desert manna are the pledge of God's faithfulness.  The "cup of blessing" at Passover points to the messianic expectation of the rebuilding of Jerusalem.  Jesus gave a new meaning to the blessing of the bread and the cup; his blood is poured out for the forgiveness of sins.  He made himself an offering and sacrifice, a gift pleasing to the Father.
      When we receive Communion, we unite ourselves to Christ, who makes us sharers in his body and blood, the "one bread that provides the medicine of immortality, the antidote for death, and the food that makes us live forever in Jesus Christ" (Ignatius of Antioch, Ad Eph. 20:2).  This food is healing for body and soul and strength for our journey.  The Eucharist strengthens us in charity and enables us to break with disordered attachments and to be more firmly rooted in Christ's love.
        • Robert of Newminster, priest, Benedictine abbot
        Dress legend
        • 'Quill pen and tablet' pin:  Moses wrote down the Lord's words.  (1st reading)
        • 'Bull' tie pin:  He sent men to sacrifice bulls to the Lord (1st reading)
        • 'Phone' tie bar:  I'll 'call' on the Lord's name (psalm)
        • 'Eyeball' pin:  Precious in the Lord's eyes is the death of his faithful (psalm)
        • 'Blood drop' pin:  He put blood in bowls, splashed it on the altar, and sprinkled it on the people (1st reading); Christ entered the sanctuary not with goat or calf blood but his own (2nd reading)
        • 'Dogs' tie:  Don't let the bread of children be cast to the dogs (sequence)
        • 'Lamb' and 'sheep' tie bars:  Christ, Paschal Lamb, Good Shepherd (sequence); they sacrificed the Passover lamb (gospel)
          • 'Wheat' pin:  Jesus took bread...  (gospel)
          • 'Silverware' tie bar:  "Take and eat" (gospel)
          • Red and white shirt:  red for blood, white for today's feast
          • Green in tie and suspenders:  Ordinary Time season