Sunday, June 14, 2009

Corpus Christi - Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ

Dear All,

The inauguration of the Holy Eucharist is celebrated first and foremost on Holy Thursday in its natural place the night before Jesus died on the Cross. But because that celebration takes place very much in the context of the sadness of the events of Christ’s passion and death, the Church gives us this second feast in the course of the year to help us to get to explore more fully the Eucharist, the commemoration of the Last Supper. Two Sundays ago we celebrated Pentecost and last Sunday we celebrated the feast of the Blessed Trinity and now we commemorate the Blessed Eucharist. There is a certain logic in this sequence of celebrations. Pentecost is the Birthday of the Church and on the Feast of the Blessed Trinity we look at the very nature of God himself. Today in the Feast of Corpus Christi we examine how God continues to make himself present to his Church, how he sustains and nourishes us. And he achieves all this principally through the Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist. On the night before he died Jesus gave his disciples a Last Supper. It was a meal with a difference. It was a meal during which, and through which, he showed them the very depths of his love. He gave them special instructions both by word and example; the example being the washing of feet. And then, as we know, he took the bread, blessed and broke it and said: this is my body which is given up for you. Do this in memory of me. And then he hid the same with the wine. By these actions Jesus brought into focus, and in a mysterious way actually made present, the events which were to happen on the following three days.

And through our following out of Jesus’ command, and doing this in memory of him, in an extraordinary way those same events are made present in our hearts every time we join a community at the altar of Eucharist celebration. The Last Supper wasn’t an event that was sprung on the apostles out of the blue. They were all there when Jesus took the five loaves and the two fish and managed to feed five thousand people. The incident was clearly meant to be a foreshadowing of the Last Supper since all the essential elements were present: He took the bread, said the blessing, broke the bread and gave it to the people. What could be more Eucharistic than that? And all had their fill! In the celebration of the Eucharist we encounter the Lord Most High and He gives us real nourishment for our souls. So much nourishment that it would take a lifetime to begin to appreciate.

Let us praise and thank God for this great gift which enables us to be united with Christ’s work of redemption in a real and most intimate way. I encourage everybody to celebrate your next Eucharist in His memory and come to communion with Him as we share His Body and Blood.

The complete text of the readings can be found at

With God’s Love and Blessings,


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