June 22, 2014: The Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ (Corpus Christi)
Catholic Social Teaching: Call to Family, Community and Participation
“The sacredness and dignity of human life exists not in isolation, but affirmed through individuals growing in community…” From: https://cst74life.wordpress.com/
First Reading: Deuteronomy 8:2-3, 14b-16a
Psalm: 147:12-13, 14-15, 19-20
Second Reading: 1st Corinthians 10:16-17
Catechism of the Catholic Church
The mode of Christ’s presence under the Eucharistic species is unique. It raises the Eucharist above all the sacraments as “the perfection of the spiritual life and the end to which all the sacraments tend.” In the most blessed sacrament of the Eucharist “the body and blood, together with the soul and divinity, of our Lord Jesus Christ and, therefore, the whole Christ is truly, really, and substantially contained.” “This presence is called ‘real’ – by which is not intended to exclude the other types of presence as if they could not be ‘real’ too, but because it is presence in the fullest sense: that is to say, it is a substantial presence by which Christ, God and man, makes himself wholly and entirely present.” (1374)
It is by the conversion of the bread and wine into Christ’s body and blood that Christ becomes present in this sacrament. The Church Fathers strongly affirmed the faith of the Church in the efficacy of the Word of Christ and of the action of the Holy Spirit to bring about this conversion. Thus St. John Chrysostom declares:
It is not man that causes the things offered to become the Body and Blood of Christ, but he who was crucified for us, Christ himself. the priest, in the role of Christ, pronounces these words, but their power and grace are God’s. This is my body, he says. This word transforms the things offered.
and St. Ambrose says about this conversion:
Be convinced that this is not what nature has formed, but what the blessing has consecrated. the power of the blessing prevails over that of nature, because by the blessing nature itself is changed…. Could not Christ’s word, which can make from nothing what did not exist, change existing things into what they were not before? It is no less a feat to give things their original nature than to change their nature. (1375)
From the Daily Roman Missal, Introduction to The Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ (Corpus Christi) , Cycle A
Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church
The Old Testament presents God as the omnipotent Creator (cf. Gen 2:2; Job 38-41; Ps104; Ps 147) who fashions man in his image and invites him to work the soil (cf. Gen 2:5-6),and cultivate and care for the garden of Eden in which he has placed him (cf. Gen 2:15). To the first human couple God entrusts the task of subduing the earth and exercising dominion over every living creature (cf. Gen 1:28). The dominion exercised by man over other living creatures, however, is not to be despotic or reckless; on the contrary he is to “cultivate and care for” (Gen2:15) the goods created by God. These goods were not created by man, but have been received by him as a precious gift that the Creator has placed under his responsibility. Cultivating the earth means not abandoning it to itself; exercising dominion over it means taking care of it, as a wise king cares for his people and a shepherd his sheep.
In the Creator’s plan, created realities, which are good in themselves, exist for man’s use. The wonder of the mystery of man’s grandeur makes the psalmist exclaim: “What is man that you are mindful of him, and the son of man that you care for him? Yet you have made him little less than god, and crown him with glory and honour. You have given him dominion over the works of your hands; you have put all things under his feet” (Ps 8:5-7). (255)
The promise of peace that runs through the entire Old Testament finds its fulfilment in the very person of Jesus. Peace, in fact, is the messianic attribute par excellence, in which all other beneficial effects of salvation are included. The Hebrew word “shalom” expresses this fullness of meaning in its etymological sense of “completeness” (cf. Is 9:5ff; Mic 5:1-4). The kingdom of the Messiah is precisely the kingdom of peace (cf. Job 25:2; Ps 29:11; 37:11; 72:3,7; 85:9,11; 119:165; 125:5, 128:6; 147:14; Song 8:10; Is 26:3,12; 32:17f.; 52:7; 54:10; 57:19; 60:17; 66:12;Hag 2:9; Zech 9:10; et al.). Jesus “is our peace” (Eph 2:14). He has broken down the dividing wall of hostility among people, reconciling them with God (cf. Eph 2:14-16). This is the very effective simplicity with which Saint Paul indicates the radical motivation spurring Christians to undertake a life and a mission of peace.
On the eve of his death, Jesus speaks of his loving relation with the Father and the unifying power that this love bestows upon his disciples. It is a farewell discourse which reveals the profound meaning of his life and can be considered a summary of all his teaching. The gift of peace is the seal on his spiritual testament: “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you” (Jn 14:27). The words of the Risen Lord will not be any different; every time that he meets his disciples they receive from him the greeting and gift of peace: “Peace be with you” (Lk24:36; Jn 20:19,21,26). (491)
The body and blood of Christ draws us into a newness of life, in ways we may deemed unfathomable. Each reception of the Eucharist challenges us to define life with new parameters, to leave behind a grasping for life etched in mirages. Horizons appearing laden with abundance, but in reality a journey of deception with a false destination. For when we say Amen, if it is uttered in sincerity to blot out robotic repetitiveness, we affirm our intent to keep God’s commandments and acknowledge we do not live by our own design. In this encounter with Christ, the cup of blessing and bread broken is participation in the body and blood of Christ, where He is in us and we remain in Him. We enter into the unity of the Lord and with one another through the one loaf, we though many partaking as one body to experience a transformation to dispel an ideology of me to become a community of we. Jesus gives us his flesh for the life of the world. A gift for us to receive, consume and savor. But as with all good gifts, the ultimate purpose is to share. As Jesus shared the life from the Father who sent Him, we must share the life we receive from the Lord’s body and blood. A life rooted in assurance of eternal life and today and everyday a newness of life in liberation from the slavery of living apart from God’s grace. This is not a mirage, but a spiritual reality Jesus asks us to make manifest in the world. For He gives us His body and blood not to hoard, but to share. Where do you see life needed in the world? Let prayer and the guidance of the Holy Spirit take you to that place and pour forth the grace you receive when you say Amen.
Individual Reflection: 1st Corinthians 10:16-17
We are the Body of Christ, receiving the Body of Christ to become the Body of Christ in the world. What are three new ways your parish might become the Body of Christ in the world? How might you share and initiate these ideas?
Family Reflection: John 6:51-58
Participate in a procession of the Blessed Sacrament through your neighborhood. Mission San Antonio de Pala has a Corpus Christi procession the first Sunday in June. This celebration has continued for 198 years. After an outdoor Mass by the historic bell tower, a procession, with the Blessed Sacrament, winds through town and returns to the church for a benediction.
Reflect on the unity of prayer in the Church through the Liturgy of the Hours. If you do not have access to a book containing the morning and evening prayers, visit one of the on-line websites that have the daily readings
Blogs to Visit:
As we reflect upon Mary’s presence in the mysteries of the Rosary, we are blessed to know her. For her journey, a timeless trek, calls us to surrender, continuing conversion, humbleness and justice now.
Weekly lectionary reflections, for faith sharing groups, parish bulletins, newsletters or personal prayer, from the synergy of the Word we hear and the rich tradition of Catholic Social Teaching.
Catholic Social Teaching offers seven principles for upholding life in our thoughts, decisions and actions.
How we do Catholic Social Teaching.
Creation sustainability ministry resources in the spirit of the St Francis Pledge.
List one or two upcoming events, legislative action alerts or social justice websites
By Barb Born June 7, 2014 The reflection maybe used in parish bulletins, newsletters or for faith sharing groups without copyright concern