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The Solemnities of CORPUS CHRISTI and the SACRED HEART

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Corpus Christi
Sacred Heart

Corpus Christi

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
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Sacred Heart


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 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