(Most Holy Body and Blood of Jesus Christ Sunday)
Scripture Reading: John 6:51-58
This Sunday the church brings to us another mystery called the Most Holy Body and Blood of Jesus Christ. Paul Rooney said “A few years ago when I was preaching, I held up a large unconsecrated host. I said, “Do you see this?” When our Pastor, or any ordained Catholic Priest says the words of consecration over this little piece of unleavened bread during the second half of our Mass, along with a cup of simple wine, the bread and the wine will become the real Body and Blood of Christ! How can this come about? The scientists say it is just a pipedream, foolishness, absurd. But it has been revealed to us as truth by Jesus Himself, who instituted the Sacrament of Holy Orders, the night before He died.”
Pope emeritus Benedict XVI called the Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist “the most precious treasure of the Church and of all mankind.” And rightly so! It takes real faith to believe Jesus, to take Him at His word, when He said at the Last Supper (as we read in Matthew, Mark and Luke’s gospels): “Take and eat; this is my body.” And taking the cup of wine, he said, “This is my blood of the covenant, which will be shed for many.” The Master told us Himself: “Amen, amen, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you do not have life within you.”
St. John’s gospel places Jesus’ words in the context of the loaves, meaning in the context of miracle. Well, the consecration of bread and wine into the REAL Body and Blood of Christ IS INDEED A REAL MIRACLE, and Jesus granted this power to all the Ordained Priests! I want to repeat something that we all need to grasp: “Mystery” in the spiritual sense means those revealed truths—I repeat, revealed truths—that go beyond the powers of natural reason”. All of us need to be careful not to take this miraculous Sacrament for granted! We are receiving the Real Jesus Himself when we receive Holy Communion in a Catholic Church. So approach the altar with the right heart, the right attitude. This is God the Most Holy Body and Blood of Jesus Christ! He invites us to take Him within our body as food for our journey back to Him! That is AWESOME, absolutely AWESOME! It should fill our hearts with great JOY and GRATITUDE! St. Philip Neri said, “It’s no joke. The rules of the liturgy say the Blessed Sacrament should be treated with reverence. Let us conclude by praying the St. Thomas Aquinas’ prayer of devotion in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament: “O Sacrament most holy! O Sacrament Divine! All praise and all thanksgiving be every moment Thine!”
MASS: WHITE Duet 8:2-3.14b-16a; Ps 147:12-13.14-15.19-20 (R.12a); 2 Cor 10:16-17; Accl. Jn 6:51; Jn 6:51-58 THE MOST HOLY BODY AND BLOOD OF CHRIST (CORPUS CHRISTI) (SOLEMNITY)
1. “O sacred banquet, wherein Christ is received; the memory of His Passion is renewed, the mind is filled with grace, and the pledge of future glory is given unto us,” help us to always receive you in the state of grace in the name of Jesus
2. Take the prayer of Anima Christi: Soul of Christ, sanctify me. Body of Christ, save me. Blood of Christ, inebriate me. Water from the side of Christ, wash me. Passion of Christ, strengthen me. O good Jesus, hear me. Within your wounds conceal me. Do not permit me to be parted from you. From the evil foe protect me. At the hour of my death call me. And bid me come to you, to praise you with all your saints for ever and ever. Amen.
3. Father, by the Blood of your Son you have set us free and saved us from death. Continue your work of love within us, that by constantly celebrating the mystery of our salvation we may reach the eternal life it promises. We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.
Exercise: Spend at least 15 minutes before Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament, pray and meditate with John 6:51
Meditation: John 6:51