The Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ (Corpus Christi)
Humbly submit your will to God (Thy Will be done) and consecrate yourself to the Sacred Heart of Jesus through Mary and Joseph.
On the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread,
when they sacrificed the Passover lamb,
Jesus’ disciples said to him,
“Where do you want us to go
and prepare for you to eat the Passover?”
He sent two of his disciples and said to them,
“Go into the city and a man will meet you,
carrying a jar of water.
Wherever he enters, say to the master of the house,
‘The Teacher says, “Where is my guest room
where I may eat the Passover with my disciples?”‘
Then he will show you a large upper room furnished and ready.
Make the preparations for us there.”
The disciples then went off, entered the city,
and found it just as he had told them;
and they prepared the Passover.
While they were eating,
he took bread, said the blessing,
broke it, gave it to them, and said,
“Take it; this is my body.”
Then he took a cup, gave thanks, and gave it to them,
and they all drank from it.
He said to them,
“This is my blood of the covenant,
which will be shed for many.
Amen, I say to you,
I shall not drink again the fruit of the vine
until the day when I drink it new in the kingdom of God.”
Then, after singing a hymn,
they went out to the Mount of Olives. MK 14:12-16, 22-26
Today, we learn that God uses blood to make covenants with His people. The Israelites used the blood of animals. God asked the Israelites to put the blood of an unblemished lamb in its prime to sprinkle over the doorposts so the angel of death will pass over those homes. Jesus, our redeemer, is obedient to the will of the Father and sheds His Blood for all of humanities sins. His blood washes over us at Baptism and each time we go to confession. Jesus teaches us that we must eat His flesh and drink His blood in JN 6, the Bread of Life Discourse. He puts Himself in the bread and wine at the Last Supper changing the old Passover to the “new and everlasting covenant of His blood”.
Why? Love. God knows we need His life in us to be come a saint. Jesus has the power to hide behind bread and wine so that we can approach Him and receive Him. God knows it would be disgusting to eat flesh and blood, so Jesus put Himself into the bread and wine. At every Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, the priest is “in persona Christi” in the person of Christ. Jesus says the words of consecration through the priest. What was once present in history is now present in mystery. Jesus was willing to give up the whole future of the Church on this one teaching.
Why? Unity. One way I feel complete and whole is when I feel unified. I feel unified when I am at peace with God. I feel unified when I am hanging out and laughing with my family and talking about anything and everything. I feel unified when I am with friends and reflecting on the good old days. I feel unified when I understand my role as a human (God allows me to call Him Father and He calls me son), a husband, a father, a son, as a friend, and as a catechist. I feel whole when I am praying. I feel whole when I am adoring Christ in adoration. The Body and Blood of Christ unifies greater than any other single power on the face of the planet. The Body and Blood of Christ transforms.
Most importantly, the Body and Blood of Christ brings us into the greatest friendship anyone can have, a friendship with our Savior. Deny yourself, take up your cross, and follow the commandments so you may be unified totally and completely with Christ. This is why He died. He wanted to become best friends with you. When the Church has billions of souls in a friendship with Christ, we are unified and become the Body of Christ for the world to see and understand His saving power.
Concerning the value of the Mass, Padre Pio said: “If men only appreciated the value of a holy Mass they would need traffic officers at church doors every day to keep the crowds in order.”
Padre Pio was asked what his Mass meant to him. He responded: “It is a sacred participation in the passion of Jesus. All that the Lord suffered in His passion, I suffer, to the extent that it is possible to a human being. And that is apart from any merit of mine, but entirely due to His goodness.”
Before Padre Pio offered the unconsecrated host on his Paten, he would run his fingers around the host to make sure there were no loose particles.
Padre Pio: “Every holy Mass, heard with devotion, produces in our souls marvelous effects, abundant spiritual and material graces which we, ourselves, do not know. It is easier for the earth to exist without the sun than without the holy Sacrifice of the Mass.”
Today’s challenge: Review the Passion of Christ so you may prepare yourself better to understand what is happening at the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. Prepare yourself to receive the Eucharist by going to confession often. Pick one day a week to go to daily Mass and receive Jesus more often. Open yourself up to the transforming power of the Eucharist and work together with all other members of the Church in your homes, parishes, and community to be Christ in a fallen world.
Be a servant, become a saint!