June 7, 2015: The Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ
Catholic Social Teaching: Option for the Poor and Vulnerable
“A basic moral test is how the most vulnerable members are faring. In a society marred by deepening divisions between rich and poor, our tradition recalls the story of the Last Judgment (Matthew 25:31-46) and instructs us to put the needs of the poor and vulnerable first.” From Themes from Catholic Social Teaching, USCCB
First Reading: Exodus 24:3-8
Psalm: 116:12-13, 15-16, 17-18
Second Reading: Hebrews 9:11-15
Gospel: Mark 14:12-16, 22-26
Catechism of the Catholic Church
Worship of the Eucharist. In the liturgy of the Mass we express our faith in the real presence of Christ under the species of bread and wine by, among other ways, genuflecting or bowing deeply as a sign of adoration of the Lord. “The Catholic Church has always offered and still offers to the sacrament of the Eucharist the cult of adoration, not only during Mass, but also outside of it, reserving the consecrated hosts with the utmost care, exposing them to the solemn veneration of the faithful, and carrying them in procession.” (1378)
It is highly fitting that Christ should have wanted to remain present to his Church in this unique way. Since Christ was about to take his departure from his own in his visible form, he wanted to give us his sacramental presence; since he was about to offer himself on the cross to save us, he wanted us to have the memorial of the love with which he loved us “to the end,” even to the giving of his life. In his Eucharistic presence he remains mysteriously in our midst as the one who loved us and gave himself up for us, and he remains under signs that express and communicate this love: (1380)
“That in this sacrament are the true Body of Christ and his true Blood is something that ‘cannot be apprehended by the senses,’ says St. Thomas, ‘but only by faith, which relies on divine authority.’ For this reason, in a commentary on Luke 22:19 (‘This is my body which is given for you.’), St. Cyril says: ‘Do not doubt whether this is true, but rather receive the words of the Savior in faith, for since he is the truth, he cannot lie.'”
Godhead here in hiding, whom I do adore
Masked by these bare shadows, shape and nothing more,
See, Lord, at thy service low lies here a heart
Lost, all lost in wonder at the God thou art.
Seeing, touching, tasting are in thee deceived;
How says trusty hearing? that shall be believed;
What God’s Son has told me, take for truth I do;
Truth himself speaks truly or there’s nothing true. (1381)
From the Daily Roman Missal, Introduction to The Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ, Cycle B
Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church: No references
The words of Hebrew speak of Jesus’ sacrifice, an offering of himself to cleanse our consciences from dead works. How do we experience that in the Eucharist? Are we willing to let go of our trivial pursuits, time wasting habits, self-centered indulgences to clear our consciences for the abundance of the Eucharist? As the disciples journeyed to the city to find a room to celebrate the Passover meal, Jesus too asks us to journey, to seek the place of spiritual celebration. As the disciples were asked to meet a man carrying a jar of water, metaphorically a sign of purification, cleansing and life giving in the parched desert environs, we too must seek what cleanses our soul and gives us life to unravel for us the mystery of the Eucharistic feast. For Jesus does not impose on us His most holy Body and Blood, but offers an invitation to take, eat and drink. Take has a connotation to grasp into one’s possessions, but another deeper meaning is assume. From accepting Jesus’ invitation to join the feast at the Eucharistic table, will we let the Divine meal transform our nature to become more Christ like—to let attitudes morph into gratitude, greed becomes looking at societal needs, control abandons power and privilege for service? Jesus’ love for us invites us into assuming His presence from partaking of the Eucharist. Beyond human reason, only in faith, will we share in the transformative experiences. As Jesus took the bread and cup offering blessings and giving thanks, we must be blessings in the world and give thanks for the gift of Eucharist in our worship of the living God. For as the Mass concludes, we are sent forth in peace to love, serve and glorify the Lord knowing we have partaken of the living bread that came down from heaven and trust in the Lord’s words, “whoever eats this bread will live forever.”
Individual Reflection: Mark 14:12-16, 22-26
During the coming week, allow your schedule to include attending daily Mass
Family Reflection: Hebrews 9:11-15
Attend Eucharistic Adoration as a family, spending an hour or so in sacred silence before the Blessed Sacrament. If your parish does not have a time for Adoration that is compatible for families’ work and school schedules, encourage the parish to offer Adoration during a time families can come. Invite other families to join you.
Jesus, every time we receive your real presence may our heartfelt affirmation of Amen be an expression of praise for this sacred gift. Let us not resist the transformation you offer us and may we express our gratitude in loving service of your kingdom. We thank you for the blessings of Eucharist now and your promise of life eternal. In Your dear name we pray, Amen
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 May 26, 2015 The reflection maybe used in parish bulletins, newsletters or for faith sharing groups without copyright concern.