28 May 2016

May 29th 2016 - The Body and Blood of Christ (Corpus Christi)

In this week's programme John and Ann Keily, Martina O'Sullivan and Fr. Patrick Cahill discuss the beautiful feast of The Body and Blood of Christ (Corpus Christi). You can listen to the full programme podcast HERE

The Body and Blood of Christ - Corpus Christi

Fr. Patrick began by acknowledging there is so much involved in the contemplation of the Eucharist that it is not always easy to know where to start. As C.S. Lewis said: "The Eucharist isn't a mystery to be understood; it's a mystery to be beheld." This great mystery is reflected in our churches which are built so that everything points to the Eucharist by pointing to the tabernacle. We need the Eucharist for salvation. We are offering the Body of God the Son (the Lamb) to God the Father. It should fill us with a sense of wonder and awe and a sense of our own humility and unworthiness to participate in such a great offering. If we really knew Who God is we could not be anything but humble. 

You can listen to the discussion on Corpus Christi excerpted from the main programme podcast HERE.

 ... What you see is the bread and the chalice -
this is what your eyes tell you.

But what your faith needs to be informed of -

the bread is the body of Christ, the chalice is his blood.
This is why these things are called sacraments,

because in them one thing is seen, but another is understood.
If you wish to understand the body of Christ,

listen to what the apostle says to the believers,
'You are the body of Christ and his members.'
If, therefore, you are the body of Christ and his members,

it is your own mystery that has been placed on the table of the Lord. It is your own mystery that you receive.
To this which you are you respond 'Amen'
and in responding, you accept it.
What you hear is 'the Body of Christ'

and to this you respond 'Amen'.

So, be a member of Christ's body,
that your Amen may be true...."

St Augustine of Hippo Previous posts from the blog on the feast of Corpus Christi including the hymns written for the feast day by St Thomas Aquinas can be read HERE.

Gospel - Luke 9:11-17

Jesus made the crowds welcome and talked to them about the kingdom of God; and he cured those who were in need of healing.

It was late afternoon when the Twelve came to him and said, ‘Send the people away, and they can go to the villages and farms round about to find lodging and food; for we are in a lonely place here.’ He replied, ‘Give them something to eat yourselves.’ But they said, ‘We have no more than five loaves and two fish, unless we are to go ourselves and buy food for all these people.’ For there were about five thousand men. But he said to his disciples, ‘Get them to sit down in parties of about fifty.’ They did so and made them all sit down. Then he took the five loaves and the two fish, raised his eyes to heaven, and said the blessing over them; then he broke them and handed them to his disciples to distribute among the crowd. They all ate as much as they wanted, and when the scraps remaining were collected they filled twelve baskets.

When it comes to the Eucharist, how can we possible believe God is contained in something so small and common, i.e. bread. The Lord shows us in this miracle that He can do what He wants in created things because He is God. He can do what He wants with His own Body, e.g. He can walk on water. If we bind those two arguments: if He wants to make Himself present in the Blessed Sacrament, He can because He is God. 

Twelve is always a biblical number for fullness. The twelve baskets show that even the leftovers were sufficient and more than enough. It tells us that the Eucharist we receive contains everything that we need and more. Why? Because the Eucharist is God.

Reflections on this week's gospel:
Liturgical odds & ends

Liturgy of the Hours: Psalter Week 1

Saints of the Week
May 31st - The Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary
June 1st - St. Justin
June 2nd - St. Marcellinus and St. Peter
June 3rd - The Most Sacred Heart of Jesus
June 4th - The Immaculate Heart of Mary

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