Tag Archives: Eucharist

Corpus Christi 2012

Benedict before monstance June 7 2012.jpg

The observance of Corpus Christi, sometimes called Corpus Domini (The Body of the Lord). In places like Rome, the traditional day to observe this feast is Thursday, connecting with Holy Thursday. A portion of the Pope’s homily is noted below (the full text is here).


… the sacredness of the Eucharist. Also here we heard in the recent past of a certain misunderstanding of the authentic message of Sacred Scripture. The Christian novelty in regard to worship was influenced by a certain secularist mentality of the 60s and 70s of the past century. It is true, and it remains always valid, that the center of worship is now no longer in the rites and ancient sacrifices, but in Christ himself, in his person, in his life, in his paschal mystery. And yet, from this fundamental novelty it must not be concluded that the sacred no longer exists, but that it has found its fulfillment in Jesus Christ, incarnate divine Love. The Letter to the Hebrews, which we heard this evening in the Second Reading, speaks to us precisely of the novelty of the priesthood of Christ, “high priest of the good things that have come” (Hebrews 9:11), but it does not say that the priesthood is finished. Christ “is the mediator of a new covenant” (Hebrews 9:15), established in his blood, which purifies our “conscience from dead works” (Hebrews 9:14). He did not abolish the sacred, but brought it to fulfillment, inaugurating a new worship, which is, yes, fully spiritual but which however, so long as we are journeying in time, makes use again of signs and rites, of which there will be no need only at the end, in the heavenly Jerusalem, where there will no longer be a temple (cf. Revelation 21:22). Thanks to Christ, the sacred is more true, more intense and, as happens with the Commandments, also more exacting! Ritual observance is not enough, but what is required is the purification of the heart and the involvement of life.

Pope Benedict XVI

Corpus Christi at the Basilica of St. John Lateran

7 June 2012

Jesus is the true vine



Jesus the true vine.jpg

Saint John’s gospel uses the agricultural image of vine and a vine dresser to express a relationship that is unique. Quite singular when you think that neither the Jews nor the Muslims would admit in terms of intimacy between the Creator and creature, Father and Son, God and me. So, why is Christ called the ‘true vine‘ and why are we his ‘branches’?  The short answer is because it is our Christian belief, our Christology, that God is waiting for humanity to bear fruit, sin notwithstanding.  The Incarnation, and the proclamation of  the Good News tells us of the wine of love, obedience and prayer with the goal of uniting God and humanity in a truer way.

That we are expected to “bear much fruit
and to rely on the Lord for all things there is a hope that we
remain in Him and  that His “words remain in you
“. There is a dependence on God in a radical manner that is unheard of in most of relationships. To remain, to abide, to stay close to Jesus is the key of the spiritual life. Not to remain in Christ is reject the offer of Grace. The question of what it means to remain in Christ is given by the second reading: keep the commandments, of both Testaments of sacred Scripture and the teaching of the Church. Concretely, we are nourished by Christ Himself in the sacraments of the Church, notably in the Holy Eucharist.

Christ risen is constantly present



Supper at Emmaus DVelaquez.jpg

Today
Eucharist means the Risen Lord is constantly present, Christ who continues to
give Himself to us, calling us to participate in the Banquet of His Body and
Blood. From the full communion with Him comes every other element of the life
of the Church, in the first place the communion among the Faithful, the
commitment to proclaim and give witness to the Gospel, the ardor of charity
towards all, especially toward the poor and the smallest.

Pope Benedict XVI


The Pope hits on something significant in the life of the Christian: keeping in front of oneself that God has not abandoned humanity AND that He thirsts for us, He desires to be in relationship with us. In our daily living the baptized seek the face of God (as it is spoken of in the Scriptures) and to recognize Christ in the faces of the people around us and in creation.

This week we’ve heard some beautiful readings of the resurrected Lord thus giving perspective on His previous preaching about the Cross. The resurrection makes things clearer, hopeful. The resurrected Christ laughs in the face of death. Now, He is present to us not merely in one location but now in all places and constantly through the Eucharist. The Incarnation is now a recognizable Divine Fact that walking and talking could not manage. By action of the Holy Spirit Christ is present to all who call on his Name. And we ought to give witness to this fact.

Saint Peter Julian Eymard

BVM with St Peter Julian Eymard.jpgGracious God of our ancestors, You led Peter Julian Eymard, like Jacob in times past, on a journey of faith. Under the guidance of Your gentle Spirit, Peter Julian discovered the gift of love in the Eucharist which Your Son Jesus offered for the hungers of humanity. Grant that we may celebrate this mystery worthily, adore it profoundly, and proclaim it prophetically for Your greater glory. Amen.

Saint Peter Julian’s importance to us is identified when he was placed on the Roman liturgical calendar:
Font and fullness of all evangelization and striking expression of the infinite love of our divine Redeemer for mankind, the Holy Eucharist clearly marked the life and pastoral activity of Peter Julian Eymard. He truly deserves to be called an outstanding apostle of the Eucharist. In fact, his mission in the Church consisted in promoting the centrality of the Eucharistic Mystery in the whole life of the Christian community.
Decree of the Insertion of the Celebration of Saint Peter Julian Eymard, Priest, in the General Roman Calendar, 1995.

Corpus Christi is God’s expression of love that doesn’t consume


Eucharist detail JvanWassenhove.jpg

It is only
because God himself is the eternal dialogue of love that he can speak and be
spoken to. Only because he himself is relationship can we relate to him; only
because he is love can he love and be loved in return. Only because he is
threefold can he be the grain of wheat which dies and the bread of eternal
life.

Ultimately, then, Corpus Christi is an expression of faith in God, in
love, in the fact that God is love. All that is said and done on Corpus Christi
is in fact a single variation on the theme of love, what it is and what it
does. In one of his Corpus Christi hymns Thomas Aquinas puts it beautifully:
love does not consume: it gives and, in giving, receives. And in giving it is
not used up but renews itself.

Since Corpus Christi is a confession of faith in
love, it is totally appropriate that the day should focus on the mystery of
transubstantiation. Love is transubstantiation, transformation. Corpus Christi
tells us
: Yes, there is such a thing as love, and therefore there is
transformation, therefore there is hope
. And hope gives us the strength to love
and face the world.

Perhaps it was good to have experienced doubts about the
meaning of celebrating Corpus Christi, for it has led us to the rediscovery of
a feast which, today, we need more than ever.

Pope Benedict XVI Benedictus

About the author

Paul A. Zalonski is from New Haven, CT. He is a member of the Fraternity of Communion and Liberation, a Catholic ecclesial movement, and an Oblate of Saint Benedict. Contact Paul at paulzalonski[at]yahoo.com.
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