Corpus Christi Sunday

By: Father José Miguel González Martín

June 6, 2021

How will I repay the Lord for all the good He has done me?

“Here, this is my body.”

“This is my blood of the covenant, which is shed for many.”

 

 

Readings

 

First reading

A reading from the Book of Exodus 24: 3-8

In those days, Moses came down and told the people all the Lord’s words and all his decrees; and the people answered with a unanimous voice:
“We will fulfill all the words that the Lord has spoken.”
Moses wrote all the words of the Lord. He got up early and built an altar on the side of the mountain, and twelve stelae, for the twelve tribes of Israel. And he commanded some young men of the children of Israel to offer burnt offerings to the Lord and slaughter bulls as communion sacrifices. Moses took half of the blood and put it in vessels, and the other half he poured out on the altar. Afterward, he took the covenant document and read it aloud to the people, who responded:
“We will do everything the Lord has said and we will obey him.”
Then Moses took the blood and sprinkled the people, saying:
“This is the blood of the covenant that the Lord has made with you, in accordance with all these words.”

 

Psalm

Ps. 115, 12-13. 15 and 16bc. 17-18

R / I will raise the cup of salvation, calling on your name, Lord.

How will I repay the Lord for all the good He has done me?
I will raise the cup of salvation, calling on his name. R /

The death of his faithful ones costs the Lord a lot.
Lord, I am your servant, son of your slave you broke my chains. R /

I will offer you a sacrifice of praise, calling on your name, Lord.
I will fulfill my vows to the Lord, in the presence of all the people. R /

 

Second lecture

A reading from the letter to Hebrews 9: 11-15

Brothers:
Christ has come as the high priest of the definitive goods. His “store” is bigger and more perfect: not made by human hands, that is, not of this created world.
He does not bear the blood of goats or calves, but his own; and thus he has entered the sanctuary once for all, achieving eternal liberation.
If the blood of goats and bulls, and the ashes of a heifer, sanctify the profane with their sprinkling, restoring them to external purity, how much more the blood of Christ, which, by virtue of the eternal Spirit, has been offered to God as a sacrifice without blemish, will be able to purify our conscience from dead works, so that we may worship the living God!
For this reason, he is the mediator of a new covenant: in it there has been a death that has redeemed the sins committed during the first covenant; and thus the called can receive the promise of eternal inheritance.

 

Gospel

A reading from the holy Gospel according to Mark 14, 12-16. 22-26

On the first unleavened day, when the Paschal lamb was being sacrificed, his disciples said to Jesus:
“Where do you want us to go to prepare your Easter dinner?”
He sent two disciples, telling them:
“Go to the city, a man carrying a pitcher of water will meet you; follow him and, in the house he enters, tell the owner: “The Master asks: What is the room where I am going to eat Passover with my disciples?”
He will show you a large room upstairs, fitted and ready. Prepare it for us there ”.
The disciples left, came to town, found what he had told them, and prepared the Passover.
While they were eating, he took bread and, pronouncing the blessing, broke it and gave it to them saying:
“Here, this is my body.”
Then he took the cup, said thanksgiving, gave it to them, and they all drank.
And he said to them:
“This is my covenant blood, which is shed for many. Truly I tell you that I will not drink the fruit of the vine again until the day I drink the new wine in the kingdom of God.
After singing the hymn, they left for the Mount of Olives.

 

Commentary

 

This solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ (Corpus Christi), which was instituted by Pope Urban IV in 1264, takes us back to what we celebrate on Holy Thursday, that is, the Last Supper of Jesus with his disciples, whose story tells us St Mark narrates in today’s Gospel. Pope Urban himself commissioned Saint Thomas Aquinas with a complete liturgical office, some of whose hymns and antiphons have gone down in the history of the liturgy as the highest theological expression of this ineffable mystery of the Eucharist, among them the Pange lingua.

What did Jesus do at the Last Supper? He wanted to celebrate the Jewish Passover with his disciples giving it a new and different meaning. Passover, for the Jews, was the memorial of their liberation from the slavery of Egypt, their constitution as a new and different people, as a people chosen by God with whom he establishes the Covenant. The sign of the covenant of the Covenant between God and his people was signified with the sacrifices of animals, whose blood was shed and sprinkled as the first reading today tells us, taken from Exodus. In it, Moses appears, in a priestly figure, who orders the sacrifice of animals, and then spills his blood on the altar and sprinkles the people with it, as a sign of communion with God, of the covenant of the Covenant, which implied fidelity on the part of God. and obedience on the part of the people.

At the Last Supper, Jesus performs with himself, in a bloodless way, the sacrifice of the new Covenant, which will be made explicit in the sacrifice of the Cross with the shedding of its Blood. The second reading, taken from the letter to the Hebrews, explains it to us wonderfully. Jesus is the High Priest of ultimate goods. And, at the same time, he is the sacrificial victim and the sacrificial altar. The spilled blood is her own, his lacerated body is her own. For this reason, other anticipatory or substitute sacrifices are no longer necessary. And he thus becomes the sole Mediator of the new Covenant of God, no longer with a specific people, but with all humanity. In his humanity, Christ assumed the sin of all, also that of each one of us, so that we would have access to God, so that we would receive the promise of eternal inheritance, so that we could be liberated and converted into a new people, children of God by communion in the Spirit of Christ.

Thus, this feast of Corpus Christi invites us to put our eyes and our hearts anew on Christ the Eucharist. The Eucharist is the sacrament that, each time it is celebrated, makes the offering of Christ present again in obedience to the Father, who is also an offering for us and towards us. It is the sacrament through which Jesus fulfills the promise that he made to his disciples before going up to heaven: “I will be with you always.” It is the sacrament in which we contemplate the greater abasement of God, the extreme of his kenosis, which was not satisfied with becoming flesh like us in the most pure womb of Mary, but also remained forever in the consecrated bread and wine, which they are his Body and Blood, Bread of Life and Drink of Salvation. So that the Body and Blood of him communed with him intimately unite us to him, and to each other, in communion in his Spirit. That is why the Eucharist, the Body and Blood of Christ, is the sacrament that the Church makes, which generates communion in her Spirit, source and culmination of Christian life.

Contemplating this mystery of love, thanking God for this wonderful exchange, and acknowledging before Him our smallness, our miseries, our forgetfulness are unavoidable tasks on this Corpus Christi day.

But there are two very particular details of this party that cannot go unnoticed and we want to remember. The first is the traditional Corpus Christi procession with its stops or stations and corresponding blessings in houses, streets and squares of our towns and cities, and that this year, due to the circumstances of the pandemic, we will not be able to celebrate as in normal circumstances. It is the sign that helps us to understand and see Christ close to each one of us, involved in our tasks, walking where we walk, blessing places and spaces where every day we coexist, work, enjoy or also suffer. It is the procession in which no images are carried but the sacrament of his presence, the Blessed Sacrament, Christ himself in his Body and Blood, sacramented by him. For this reason, it is the most important procession, the most explicit public manifestation of our faith, in which with more respect and devotion we have to walk and participate; It is the procession in which Christ himself, with all his rights, wants to show his universality, his closeness to everyone without distinction, his desire to share all that we are and have.

The second detail is that today we celebrate Caritas Day, the day of fraternal Love, which becomes a reality through sharing with the poorest, with all the economic, welfare and promotional help that the ecclesial institution of Caritas carries out through all of their volunteers and programs. Indeed, Christ’s sacrifice for us, his broken bread and his shed blood, impel us to better remember and live our Christian commitment to the poor and needy. As disciples of Jesus, faced with the extreme needs and atrocious sufferings of many of our brothers, whether they are Christians or not, we cannot look the other way. We certainly do not have the capacity or the possibilities to solve all the problems for everyone; we can’t even lower ours sometimes. But no one is so poor that they cannot share something with those who have less or suffer more. Perhaps the material, although necessary, is in some cases the least important. Sharing our being and existing, what we are and have, on a day-to-day basis with those who live and coexist with us, through concrete signs and actions, makes us more like Christ the Eucharist, who being rich became poor for us, than being of divine condition, he stripped himself of his rank and took the human condition, passing through one of many, until the death and death of Cruz.

Each of us, as Christians, are called to also be Corpus Christi, the living presence of Christ who gives himself, the sacrament of love and sacrifice of him for every human being who comes close to us.

Caritas Christi urget us… the love of Christ urges us on.

Prayer

Prayer of Saint Teresa of Lisieux

Tabernacle of the Altar the nest of your most tender and gifted loves. You ask me for love, my God, and you give me love; your love is love of heaven, and mine, mixed love of earth and sky; yours is infinite and pure; mine, imperfect and limited.

May I, my Jesus, from today be all for You, as You are for me. May I always love you, as the Apostles loved you; and my lips kiss your blessed feet, as the converted Magdalene kissed them. Look and listen to the strays of my repentant heart, as you listened to Zacchaeus and the Samaritan woman.

Let me rest my head on your sacred chest like your beloved disciple Saint John. I want to live with you, because you are life and love.

For only your loves, Jesus, my beloved, in You I put my life, my glory and my future. And since I am a withered flower to the world, I have no other longing than, loving you, to die.

Amen.

Prayer of Saint Ambrose

My Lord Jesus Christ, I approach your altar full of fear for my sins, but also full of confidence because I am sure of your mercy.

I am aware that my sins are many and that I have not been able to control my heart and my tongue. Therefore, Lord of goodness and power, with my miseries and fears I draw near to You. Source of mercy and forgiveness, I come to take refuge in You who have given your life to save me, before you arrive as a judge to hold me accountable.

Lord, I am not ashamed to reveal my wounds to You. I am afraid of my sins, whose number and magnitude only You know, but I trust in your infinite mercy.

My Lord Jesus Christ, eternal King, God and true man, look at me with love, because you wanted to become a man to die for us. Listen to me, because I hope in You. Have compassion on my sins and miseries, You who are an inexhaustible source of love.

I adore you, Lord, because you saw your life on the cross and offered yourself there as redeemer for all men and especially for me.

I adore Lord, the precious blood that flowed from your wounds and has purified the world of its sins. Look Lord, at this poor sinner, created and redeemed by You. I repent of my sins and propose to correct their consequences.

Purify me of all my evils so that I may receive your holy communion less unworthily. May your body and blood help me Lord, to obtain from You the forgiveness of my sins and the satisfaction of my faults; free me from my bad thoughts, renew in me holy feelings, impel me to do your will and protect me in all danger of soul and body.

Amen.

Prayer of Saint Alphonsus Maria of Liguori

My Lord Jesus Christ, for the love of men you are in this sacrament night and day, full of piety and love, waiting, calling and receiving all who come to visit you: I believe that you are present in the sacrament of the altar.

I adore you from the abyss of my nothingness and I thank you for all the favors that you have done me, and especially for having given yourself in this sacrament, for having granted me by my lawyer your beloved Mother and for having called me to visit you in this church. .

I now adore your Most Holy Heart and I wish to adore it for three purposes: the first, in thanksgiving for this distinguished benefit. Second, to make up for all the injuries you receive from your enemies in this sacrament; and finally, wishing to adore you with this visit in all the places on Earth where you are sacramented with less worship and abandonment.

Amen.

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