May 29, 2016

Body and Blood of Christ

May 29, 2016:  Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ

  • 'Blood drop' pin:  "This cup is the new covenant in my blood" (2nd reading)
  • 'Star' tie pin:  "Before the daystar... I have begotten you" (psalm)
  • 'Fish' tie pin:  "All we have is five loaves and two fish" (gospel)
  • 'Food' tie:  The Bread of Angels is made pilgrims' food (sequence)
  • 'Lamb' and 'sheep' tie bars:  Christ, Paschal Lamb, Good Shepherd (sequence)
  • 'Wheat' pin:  Melchizedek took bread (1st reading); Jesus took bread (2nd reading); Jesus fed the crowd from 5 loaves...  (gospel)
  • 'Silverware' tie bar:  "Take and eat" (2nd reading)
  • Red and white shirt:  Red for blood, white for today's feast
  • Green in tie:  Ordinary Time season

    Pope Francis

    Corpus Christi homily delivered Thursday

    • Gn 14:18-20  Melchizedek brought out bread and wine and blessed Abram:  "Blessed be Abram by God, creator of heaven and earth; and blessed be God, who delivered your foes into your hand."
    • Ps 110:1-4  "You are a priest for ever, in the line of Melchizedek."  The Lord will stretch forth your power....
    • 1 Cor 11:23-26  The Lord Jesus, the night he was handed over, took bread, gave thanks, broke it, and said, "This is my body, for you.  Do this in remembrance of me."  He took the cup:  "This cup is the new covenant in my blood.  Do this in remembrance of me."  As often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord's death until he comes.
    • 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 9:11b-17  Jesus spoke to the crowds about the kingdom and healed those who needed to be cured.  The Twelve / Jesus:  "Dismiss them so they can go find lodging and provisions." / "You give them some food." / "We only have 5 loaves and 2 fish, unless we go buy food." (There were about 5,000 men.) / "Have them sit down in groups of about 50." They did. Taking the loaves and fish, he looked to heaven, said the blessing, broke them, and gave them to the disciples for the crowd.  All ate and were satisfied, and 12 baskets were left over.
    "Roamin' Catholic" report

    I didn't play keyboard at my parish this week, so I took Mom to a vigil Mass.  We were thrilled with the hospitality:  they wheeled Mom from the car up to the front pew and stayed with her till I arrived.  That was a big help since the lot was full and street parking was restricted.  This Mass started 10 minutes late, not because of us :-).  Liturgical ministers and assembly were well dressed.
    Mass was in English, but the first reading, and all the music, was in Tagalog!  Maybe this was only for today's celebration; the last time I was at this Mass, it was all English; there was no mention of it on the parish website.
    The music ministry (unison choir of 25+, guitar, unnecessarily miked piano, unfortunately no cantor/animator) was at our far right, on the side.  They sang most Mass parts (Lord have mercy, Alleluia, Glory to God, Holy, Mystery of faith, Amen, Lamb of God); presider and assembly sang the preface dialogue well, including the often messed up "It is right and just."  They also sang at entrance, preparation of the gifts, and Communion (3 songs); the end of Mass, and confused transition to the Corpus Christi procession, was silent.  The first Communion song was a vibrato-rich operatic solo I might have appreciated better had I understood the words.  But aside for that song (not intended for assembly singing despite its placement at Communion), assembly singing was strong, even in the absence of a songleader or songsheets!
    The procession explained the street parking restrictions and perhaps too the six banners in the sanctuary (3 on each side) representing parish groups; a representative of each group took one and joined the procession.  (I'm impressed the parish has all those groups, likely all thriving, but the banners distracted me a bit.)  We were all invited to join the procession, but Mom and I had to leave as the presider was processing out with the monstrance.
    [BTW, the National Association of Pastoral Musicians (NPM) provides a fine service by publishing Roman Missal chants online, but the links from that home page to individual pages are currently broken.  To get to an individual page, add "/Chants" inside the incorrect address:  e.g., the "Order of Mass" link is broken, but typing in works.]
    More reports
        The Last Supper/ de Boulogne
      • Creighton:  Today's 2nd reading gives us the earliest report of the Last Supper, 10-20 years before the gospel accounts:  “The night he was betrayed” reminds us of Jesus' prayer in the garden, and his arrest, Passion, and death, and the human complicity in it all.  The identification of the bread and wine with his body and blood points to the death that separated blood from body and to the nurturing and empowering nature of his risen presence to the community.  “New covenant in my blood” reminds the community that it's part of God's renewed covenant people.  “Do this in memory of me” is a commission to repeat this ritual regularly; it reminds us we're the body of Christ meant for the life of the world.  “The death of the Lord until he comes” evokes not simply a craftsman but our Lord, now present and empowering us to love and service, and our hope for his future coming.  Paul includes this tradition in the letter to remind the Corinthian Christians that their failure to care for one another is a failure to “discern the body of Christ” as the Lord present in the Supper and as the community called to serve one another.  This feast challenges us to conversion; discerning the body involves us in unexpected ways with people and the world....
      • Passionist:  In today's readings bread is used for blessing, remembrance, and food for the hungry.  The Jewish sabbath begins with a blessing of bread and wine.  The home-baked challah, six strands of dough braided together, is a reminder of blessings received from the six days of work and unites them with our lives.  The bread is broken with hands; a knife is a symbol of violence.  Wine symbolizes joy and life. The wine is blessed first out of respect for the sacrifice the poor make to have it.  Bread and wine are present when Melchizedek blesses Abram and thanks God.  How has God blessed me?  How might I bless others?
      When we attend the Eucharist we remember Christ’s passion, death and resurrection and bring our sufferings, blessings, and thanksgivings.  Those gathered to hear Jesus also brought their sufferings, blessings, and thanksgivings; many were likely hungry.  Imagine the surprise and joy of receiving the bread and fish.  Today too we hear God's word, share in a feast....
        The Last Supper/ Tiepolo
      •  "All ate and were satisfied":  The feeding of the crowd pointed to God's provision of manna in the wilderness:  when people grumbled to Moses that they'd die of hunger, God told Moses he'd "rain bread from heaven" for them; the provision of bread foreshadows the heavenly bread Jesus offers.  Jesus makes a claim only God can make:  he's the "bread of life" who sustains us now and forever.  Jesus' feeding is a sign of God's care and provision for his people. God gives more than we need for ourselves so we may have something to share with those in need.  God multiplies what we have for the good of others....

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