meeting Christ in the liturgy library
The Solemnities of CORPUS CHRISTI and the
Epistle: 1 Corinthians 11. 23-29; John 6, 56-59
Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
"Oh Sacrament most holy, oh Sacrament divine, all praise and all thanksgiving be
every moment thine."
We celebrate today the greatest gift our Lord has left us: His Body and Blood in
the Eucharist. Today after Mass we will adore our Lord, in union with the Church
everywhere, with the customary procession and benediction for the Solemnity of
the Body and Blood of Christ, or, in Latin, "Corpus Christi".
In the Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC) we read: "The holy Eucharist
completes Christian initiation. Those who have been raised to the dignity of the
royal priesthood by Baptism and configured more deeply to Christ by Confirmation
participate with the whole community in the Lord's own sacrifice by means of the
Eucharist." (CCC 1322). The CCC quotes from the teachings of Vatican II when it
says in paragraph 1323: "At the Last Supper, on the night he was betrayed, our
Savior instituted the Eucharistic sacrifice of his Body and Blood. This he did in
order to perpetuate the sacrifice of the cross throughout the ages until he should
come again, and so to entrust to his beloved Spouse, the Church, a memorial of his
death and resurrection: a sacrament of love, a sign of unity, a bond of charity, a
Paschal banquet 'in which Christ is consumed, the mind is filled with grace, and a
pledge of future glory is given to us.' "
The Church teaches that the Eucharist is "the source and summit of the Christian
life." (CCC 1324) This means that, because Christ is really, truly and substantially
present in the Eucharist, we recognize that all the graces we enjoy as Catholic
Christians come from this great Sacrament, and all we aspire to, the fullness of the
life of God, is contained in this Sacrament. Because God is present in the
Sacrament, we have the duty to render all praise, adoration and reverence to Him.
The Church has faithfully celebrated the Eucharist from the beginning according to
the Lord's command, in particular each Sunday, the day of His Resurrection. As
early as the second century we have the witness of St. Justin Martyr for the basic
lines of the order of the Eucharistic celebration, when he wrote to a pagan emperor
to explain Christian worship, around the year 155. They have stayed the same
until our own day. (CCC 1345).
Through her processions throughout the world on this day, the Bride of Christ
publicly proclaims her love and worship for her divine Lord. From London to Paris,
from Jerusalem to New York, Catholics will take to the streets on Thursday and
Sunday to invite all mankind to recognize him who said, "Unless you eat the flesh
of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you. Participate in the
celebrations of Corpus Christi as witnesses to the supreme gift of God's flesh and
blood for the salvation of the world.
I look forward to meeting you here again next week as, together, we "meet Christ
in the liturgy" -Father Cusick
(Copy with permission only.) www.christusrex.org/www1/mcitl/
Epistle: Ephesians 3. 8-12, 14-19; Gospel: Saint John 19, 31-37
The heart of the Incarnate Word
Jesus knew and loved us each and all during his life, his agony, and his Passion
and gave himself up for each one of us: "The Son of God...loved me and gave
himself for me." (Galatians 2:20) He has loved us all with a human heart. For this
reason, the Sacred Heart of Jesus, pierced by our sins and for our salvation, (Cf.
John 19:34) "is quite rightly considered the chief sign and symbol of that...love
with which the divine Redeemer continually loves the eternal Father and all human
beings" without exception. (Pius XII, encyclical, Haurietis aquas (1956): DS 3924;
cf. DS 3812.) (CCC 478)
See also CCC 1225