The Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ
Corpus Christi is the celebration of the abiding presence of a loving God as Emmanuel – God with us – in order to give collective thanks to our Lord for his living with us in the Eucharist. This feast also gives us an occasion to learn more about the importance and value of the “Real Presence” so that we may appreciate the Sacrament better and receive maximum benefit from the Eucharist.
We believe in the “Real Presence” of Jesus in the Holy Eucharist because:
- Jesus promised it after miraculously feeding the 5000.
- Jesus instituted the Holy Eucharist during his Last Supper.
- Jesus commanded his disciples to repeat it in his memory.
- “Nothing is impossible for God.”
We explain the real presence of Jesus in the Holy Eucharist by: “transubstantiation” which means that the substance of the consecrated bread and wine is changed to the substance of the risen Jesus’ glorified Body and Blood by the action of the Holy Spirit, and its characteristics (like color, shape, taste etc.), remain the same.
This year’s readings for the Feast emphasize the theme of Covenant blood because the ancient peoples sealed Covenants with the blood of ritually sacrificed animals, and Jesus sealed his New Covenant with his own Blood shed on Calvary. Today’s first reading describes how Moses, by sprinkling the blood of a sacrificed animal on the altar and on the people, accepted the Covenant Yahweh proposed and made with His People. In the second reading, St. Paul affirms that Jesus sealed the New Covenant with his own Blood, thereby putting an end to animal sacrifices. Today’s Gospel details how Jesus converted this ancient ritual into a Sacrament and sacrifice. Instead of the lamb’s blood, Jesus offered his own Divine/human Body and Blood, and instead of sprinkling us with blood, Jesus put it into our hands as food and drink: “Take … eat … this IS my Body which will be given up for you” (He did not say “This represents my body”), and “Take … drink …This is … my Blood, the Blood of the new and eternal Covenant, which will be poured out for you and for many….” (nor did He say, “This represents my blood…”).
A Sacrament and a sacrifice: Jesus instituted the Holy Eucharist both as a sacramental banquet and a sacrificial offering.
As a Sacrament,
- The Eucharist is a visible sign that gives us God’s grace and God’s life and,
- As a Meal, The Eucharist nourishes our souls.
As a sacrifice
- The Eucharistic celebration is a re-presentation or re-enactment of Jesus’ sacrifice on Calvary, completed in His Resurrection.
- We offer Jesus’ sacrifice to God the Father for the remission of our sins, using signs and symbols.
There are three things very important for us on this Feast:
- Let us appreciate the “Real Presence” of Jesus in the Holy Eucharist, by receiving him with true repentance for our sins, due preparation and reverence.
- Let us be Christ-bearers and conveyers: By receiving Holy Communion, we become Christ-bearers as Mary was, with the duty of conveying Christ to others at home and in the workplace, through love, mercy, forgiveness, and humble and sacrificial service.
- Let us offer our lives on the altar along with Jesus’ sacrifice, asking pardon for our sins, expressing gratitude for the blessings we have received and presenting our needs and petitions on the altar.
O Sacrament Most Holy, O Sacrament Divine, all praises and all thanksgivings be every moment Thine.
P.S. This week we’ll celebrate two wonderful Solemnities: The Most Sacred Heart of Jesus (Friday June 11th at 9 am) and The Immaculate Heart of Mary (Saturday June 12th at 9 am). You are all invited to glorify God with us for His unconditional love revealed in these two loving and merciful hearts. May Jesus and Mary teach us how to love and how to let others love us! If you are not yet registered for the Sacred Hearts Home Enthronement, it’s not too late. The simple ceremony will take place in the church after 11 am Mass on Sunday June 13th. Please contact the Parish Office to register. May the Sacred Heart of Jesus or the Immaculate Heart of Mary reign in our hearts and in our lives!